New City Alliance Announces Launch

Advocates of Plan to Redevelop Downtown Columbia
Launch Political Advocacy Organization – NEW CITY ALLIANCE

COLUMBIA, MD (October 19, 2009) – Four leading advocates of the plan to redevelop Downtown Columbia announced the formation of a bipartisan political advocacy organization today via an interactive teleconference.

The group’s leaders, David Yungmann, Lin Eagan, Michael Davis and Phil Engelke, are all well-known advocates of transforming Downtown Columbia into the economic, social and cultural heart of Howard County and the region.

“After five years of hard work by our community to create a plan, it’s finally in the hands of the County Council and time for the citizens of Howard County to fight for its passage,” said Lin Eagan, a local business owner and resident of Harpers Choice. “The lack of a plan to create a vibrant Downtown is the key failure of Columbia,” she added.

The primary land owner in Downtown, General Growth Properties, has worked with the community and County for the past several years to create such a plan. The General Plan Amendment and Zoning Regulation Amendment that support the plan are awaiting County Council approval.

Co-founder David Yungmann explained, “We started New City Alliance to talk directly to voters across Howard County, to explain how important this plan is to them and to actively campaign for its passage.”

New City Alliance will use traditional campaign vehicles like direct mail and neighborhood canvassing to connect with voters. The group has also launched a large scale internet campaign focused on specific issues addressed in the redevelopment plan.

Not only will New City Alliance campaign for the plan’s passage, it will work to keep the process moving forward so the plan doesn’t fall victim to delays or unwarranted compromises.

Michael Davis, longtime resident of Wilde Lake warned, “If we delay we will lose our competitive edge to other communities who already have similar projects underway such as Konterra just 15 minutes away.”

Phil Engelke of Oakland Mills added, “I worry that the plan will get diluted by public officials trying to appease the special interests of the folks who routinely oppose all development.”

New City Alliance is a bipartisan 501c4 political advocacy organization led by four longtime residents of Howard County and Columbia. NCA supports the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia as a walkable, vibrant and sustainable city with density and economic viability. NCA believes timely passage and implementation of the plan to redevelop Downtown is essential to the long-term success of Howard County.

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