Baltimore is quietly evolving into a “Mid-Atlantic” digital hub. In fact, Baltimore landed on CIO’s “10 Cities with Fast Emerging Tech Hubs” list last year. The nation’s rising tech industry is changing the employment landscape of this once “blue collar” town. Baltimore is historically known for being a culturally diverse melting pot. It is truly an eclectic blend of distinctive dialects, ethnicities and lifestyles. However, “Charm City” is slowly blossoming into a technological oasis for start-ups and entrepreneurship.
Baltimore has began to take on a new identity as a “Tech Town.” Last year, several innovative startups established their foundation on Baltimore’s rising economic horizon. ZeroFox, Localist, BrainScope, and Fearless are among the many tech firms that have “taken root” in the city. Baltimore already serves as headquarters to over 300 tech firms. In fact, the federal government granted several thousand tech patents in the state of Maryland last year. It’s fair to assume that many more tech patents are on theUnited States Patent and Trademark docket waiting to be approved.
In March 2017, the federal government awarded the state of Maryland an estimated $200 million dollars for the development of technological infrastructure. Local tech firms and working professionals would highly benefit from having access to a modernized fiber optic system. In fact, Xfinity Cable, is set to start offering 1 gigabit internet service to Baltimore residents this summer. The Baltimore tech community will definitely have a technological advantage by having access to exceptionally high-speed internet.
Baltimore is buzzing with Incubators, Accelerators and Co-working spaces. In fact, the latest innovation site to “pop up” in Baltimore is sponsored by Johns Hopkins University and housed in East Baltimore. Fast Forward 1812 joined the rankings of other Baltimore incubators sites including Betamore, Impact Hub, Open Works and City Garage, just to name a few. These spaces feature unique amenities to meet the demands of tech professionals.
As a student currently enrolled in Betamore’s Front-End Development Course, I can truly attest to the benefits of matriculating at this academy. The state-of-the-art campus located in the heart of federal hill, offers an open-concept learning environment that inspires critical thinking and creativity. The academic staff go above the “call of duty” to ensure students are fully prepared to meet the high demands of the tech world. The instructors of this academy are noted and knowledgeable tech-industry experts. Betamore has equipped me with a quantitative skill-set that will create a professional pathway into the lucrative tech industry. By having direct access to cutting-edge technology, I can create unique and powerful website.
Redlining is the historical practice of systematically depriving resources and financial opportunities to residential neighborhoods that are highly populated with minorities.
Within these communities, taxpayers face obstacles when trying to secure home loans and homeowners insurance policies.
Mass transit tends to be expensive and operates on a very scarce schedule in redlined communities. Unlike, gentrified neighborhoods that offer free neighborhood energy-efficient shuttle bus rides (i.e. charm city circulator.)
Banks come few and far between in redlined communities. There are no coporate banks, community credit unions, community trust funds and no savings banks.
Illegal evictions rob legitimate homeowners of “due process” rights. The illegal seizure of homes only adds more fuel to the inhumane practice of redlining. Redlining is a crime!
Homeowners who are robbed of due process; are robbed of generational wealth. City landscapes, once vibrant and lively, are tarnished due to the abundance of vacant “dilapidated” homes, subsequently triggering urban blight.
Generational wealth creates safety nets for people. Redlining exposes people to the ruthlessness of life, life’s raw elements. We all know, “you can die from exposure.”
Out of Banks
The only thing close to a financial entity in redlined communities are “check cashing spots,” private atm’s and pawn shops. Trust me when I say, these type of establishment due more harm then good to residents trapped in redlined communities.
They charge high interest fees to cash personal or payroll checks. These businesses yield high returns because people don’t have any other options but to pay outrageous fees. Traveling to a traditional bank poses a hardship.
Therfore, members of these types of communities don’t posess any equity stake in their very own communities. Financial resources virtually don’t exist.
There is lack of healthy food options. In some communities, neighbors have to travel almost 10 miles to access fresh produce. Sure you can find small “mom and pop” shops, but these establishments have limited variety and little/no produce.
Many of these communities prohibit tax payers and home owners from growing food on their own property.
On the contrary, greenlining is the polar opposite of redlining. Predominantly “affulent” white communities have an abundancy banks, home owners insurance companies, blue ribbon schools and the list of amenities goes on.
You will never see red-light or speed cameras. No abundance of vacant houses because people can live in foreclosure status for decades in greenlined communities.
In greenlined communities, if a homeowner goes into foreclosure, they are not denied “due process.”
They are not immediately evicted from their property. Foreclosure doesn’t necessitate immediate eviction. Homeowners in these communities can file bankruptcy and remain int their homes for years.
Bankruptcy petitions stop Evictions
No, I am not suggesting that people should abuse a loop-hole in the housing system that affords home owners the ability to stop the eviction process by filing a petition in court, like bankruptcy, if they are facing foreclosure.
Sure wish I knew about this move a few years back. I guess I can’t dwell on the past too much.
No one gets a free ride in life (unless you live in fed hill), however, people do deserve “time” to get out of foreclosure.
Absolutely, no one deserves to be bamboozled out of their home and forced to vacate. It’s no wonder so many families end up in homeless shelters. Its a crime!
Just to be Clear
Redlining is not just a black or brown issue, some “poor” white neighborhoods, like historical pigtown in Baltimore, face redlining as well.
Pigtown sits on the outskirts of the Baltimore’s most attractive entertainment venues: camden yards, nfl stadium and horseshoe casino. Crime and drugs still riddles this community despite gentrification efforts.
“Give us our FREE”
Redlined communities are overwhelmed with drugs, murder and crime. Henceforth, why police surveillance is extremely prevelant. However, the police presence really does not deter the practice of crime.
From surveillance drones, red-light cameras, bullet detection radar and speed cameras; the tech is present in these disenfranchised communities, but who actually benefits from the technology?
Definitely not the residents of these “3rd world-like” communities. In fact, technology is often used to create more financial hardships in redlined communities.
Red light and speed cameras are disproportionately stationed in communities highly occupied by minorities. There sole intended purpose is to generate more revenue for local municipalities. Basically, its an easy way to suck money out of broken communities.
Instead of investing in programs that offer free wifi and hot spots to redlined residents, money is being invested in infrastructure to hold people back (i.e. red light cameras.)
If street light surveillance cameras, speed and red-light cameras are operating on a vast underground network of fiber optics; why can’t municipalities tap into these modern-day frameworks and offer free wifi and hot spots to all redlined residents?
Technically, the infrastructure is there, it already exist. Why are redlined residents paying for internet services? It’s like paying a double tax.
Your time is Up
To my readers, try not to “make fun” of people from Baltimore. Baltimore is very shady and grimy town.
It is riddled with corruption and many people have fallen victim to bullets and greed.
If you have ever received an inheritance, allowance, business, horses, boats, vehicles, stocks, bonds, trust fund, contractor tools, bat mitzvah, jewels or “drug corner” real-estate from your “family’s generational wealth system” then consider yourself blessed.
But, don’t dare insist people need to me more self-sufficient. Don’t say people need to pull themsleves up by their bootstraps. The laces that you use to strap those boots were given to you. The boots were given to you. Some people come from absolutely nothing.
Tage Kene-Okafor / TechCrunch:African tech startups raised a record $4B+ in 2021, more than 2019 and 2020 combined, with more $100M+ rounds than ever before — African VC reached new heights in 2021 at over $4 billion and there’s never been a better time to be bullish — Two years ago, the African tech ecosystem…
Tage Kene-Okafor wrote the latter article. I am sharing the piece for informational purposes.
The African Tech Ecosystem is fully blooming. Many African nations allow dual citizenship. This article was very informative and motivating. It also provides an abundance on information on international funding resources.
****Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to content, just sharing for informational purposes.