Two dozen people sat in a conference room at Baltimore City Community College with stacks of paper, highlighters and empty bags of chips scattered around.
They included teachers, recent high school graduates and veteran community organizers. Some couldn’t yet legally drink; others were nearing retirement age. The majority were African-American, reflecting the city as a whole.
They’ve spent weeks working through a massive task: Reading more than 400 applications from organizations seeking a slice of the city’s inaugural $12 million Children and Youth Fund, and recommending winners and losers.
There will be more of the latter than the former. The requests total $75 million — more than six times the amount available.
The fund, proposed by Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young after the unrest of 2015, and approved by voters the following year, will provide taxpayer dollars to organizations that work with the city’s young people.