Glenn L. Ross
Life long resident of east baltimore
Originally from the Fort Worthington community (also known as Berea and the Eastside Neighborhood), Glenn grew up learning the importance of family values, spiritual guidance and community pride.
He moved to McElderry Park in 1980, gutted and rehabbed his house and joined the neighborhood association. He raised two, young daughters in this home as a single parent.
Since then, Mr. Ross has played an active role in the life of east Baltimore in many different capacities; as a community leader, a coalition builder, a representative of neighborhood interests, an environmental activist and as a citizen.
Glenn Ross served as President of the McElderry Park Community Association for a total of seven terms. Under his leadership, the association was awarded nearly a million dollars from Obama's Department of Justice. These funds were used to create job-training programs and other community-support programs to help the neediest people in the community.
He also directed CPHA's (Citizens Planning and Housing Association's) Neighborhood Resource Bank. During this time the program was successful enough to be expanded and become the Resource Bank of Maryland, a state-wide program.
While serving on the board of SECO (Southeast Community Organization) as vice-president, Glenn created the Southeast Stakeholders Coalition that included all of the neighborhood associations and other community stakeholders in Southeast Baltimore, uniting many groups which had previously been divided along economic, racial and geographic lines.
Mr. Ross was voted the “Best Community Activist” by the Baltimore City Paper readers in 2001.
Advocate for Urban ENVIRONMENTAL justice
Glenn Ross is known nationwide for his work highlighting the need for "urban environmentalism". Groups from around the country travel to Baltimore to take part in Glenn's "Urban Environmental Toxic Tour," which he originally developed to educate the public about environmental health hazards and the injustice of environmental racism in Baltimore.
He also worked with Civic Works to tap into EPA Superfund Brownfields funding and start the “B-More Green Project," which trained and certified residents to do environmental clean-up jobs.
Mr. Ross has a long history of working with local institutions to bridge the divide between them and neighborhood residents. He has collaborated with MICA students and community leaders on several occasions, including working to create the exhibit “Investigating the Creation of the Ghetto, and How it is Connected to the Prison-Industrial Complex” in 2006, which was selected as the "Best Exhibit" in Baltimore by the City Paper in the following year.
A Record of "game-changing" Leadership
Mr. Ross was profiled in the book "My Baltimore" as an influential community activist and leader. Among his accomplishments are being the first African-American Director of a CPHA program. Under his directorship, Glenn formed city-wide coalitions, such as the Coalition for Beautiful Neighborhoods, which sued the city over illegal billboards that advertised alcohol and tobacco in predominantly black and poor neighborhoods. These efforts led to the creation of the Liquor Board Coalition and the Community Law Center, founded by Ann Blumenberg.
In 1990, Glenn started offering historical walking tours of East Baltimore. These led to the creation of Johns Hopkins University Source, whose mission it is to engage the JHU professional schools and Baltimore communities in mutually beneficial partnerships that promote health and social justice. Glenn currently serves as a community consultant for JHU Source and MICA Place, where he gives tours and lectures and more importantly, represents the interests of the community and holds the institutions accountable to local needs.
Glenn ran for City Council as a Green Party candidate in 2004. To ensure transparency and good government, the Ross team filed a suit that went to the MD Court of Appeals over Paula Johnson Branch's failure to file campaign finance reports. This led to the resignation of Paula Johnson Branch from the Baltimore City Council, and a victory for transparency in local government.
While working as a Community Liaison for former Councilman Warren Branch, Glenn investigated and exposed the hiring practices of EBDI and their failure to hire east Baltimore general contractors and residents. He also exposed the Monument Street "sinkholes" as caved-in utility tunnels belonging to JHU, which had been repaired with taxpayer dollars.
ARTICLES about Glenn
Grist Magazine, February 2013
Baltimore Magazine, December 2008
Ziger/Snead, August 2008
Baltimore Fishbowl, April 2013
The Creation of the Ghetto: An Interview with Glenn Ross
IndyReader, April 2006
City Paper, June 2016