Maryland Communities United
Founded in 2010, the mission of Communities United (CU) is to organize and empower low income Marylanders to achieve transformative change on issues of racial, economic and social justice. Our organizing is centered in Baltimore. Our community organizing model hinges on intensive member engagement and leadership development.
We engage and build leadership among those most directly impacted by injustice – racism, poverty, trauma, addiction, criminalization – to build resilient grassroots power among those historically shut out of Baltimore’s economic and political life.
Issues we work on include...
We are the only organization in Baltimore devoted to organizing in our city’s poorest neighborhoods, including in public housing.
When we fight, we WIN!
2013 Won same day registration on early voting days.
2015 Restored the vote for citizens with felony convictions upon release from prison.
2015 Increased funding (67% increase – $4 million for a total of just over $10 million) for community schools in Baltimore.
2016 Registered over 1,000 released prisoners to vote.
Reinstated of funding for Baltimore community schools (won in 2015 then cut by mayor in 2016)
2017 Reinstated of funding for community schools, initially cut in the mayor's FY 2018 Budget.
2016-20 Organized monthly trauma support groups in Perkins, Gilmor and McCulloh Homes, as well as emergency meetings as requested by individuals in need.
.2018 Established a new support group in Cherry Hill, at the request of staff & parents at Cherry Hill Elementary-Middle.
2018 Won landmark rental licensing regulation for 1-2 unit dwellings in Baltimore City homes.
2019 Won statewide minimum wage for nearly 600,000 workers who will see steady increases from $10.10 today to $15 by 2025.
2019 We successfully re-framed the conversation about the Baltimore Budget process. While our voter initiative did not get on the ballot, city council members are looking into putting a charter amendment on the ballot modeled after our legislation.
2020 COVID-19 revised our plans in the MD General Assembly. We shifted to mutual support in our communities, distributing food & having coffee in McCulloh & Gilmor Homes, holding a Holiday Free Market in Penn-North, and moving our organizing into virtual space.