Baltimore, Md. (Friday, February 24, 2017) – Mayor Catherine E. Pugh stood alongside members of her cabinet and transition leadership team today at City Hall to present the Transition Report, a summary of strategies developed to better meet the needs of residents through a more inclusive and diverse distribution of Baltimore City’s assets and resources. She campaigned on the promise of Building One Baltimore, and thanked the nearly 200 people who formed the Transition Committee who in two months developed recommendations in 8 key areas of city governance:
- Economic and Employment Development
- Healthy Neighborhoods
- Public Safety and Policing
- Education and Youth Development
- Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) Agency Review
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“We asked teams of individuals to examine and provide solutions for some of Baltimore’s most visible problems, like crime, to challenges that were not as visible, like obtaining a permit to do work in the city,” said Mayor Pugh. “Committees were also reminded that diversity and inclusiveness are essential ingredients in creating a robust and vibrant quality of life in Baltimore.”
”Our group was active and engaged,” recalled Mark Wasserman, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at the University of Maryland Medical System who served on the BDC Agency Review Committee. “We hope our contribution will be … a fresh focus, a jolt of energy and some clear thinking about how to better organize to stimulate job creation spreading across all sectors of the Baltimore’s economy.”
“I appreciated the opportunity to work closely with the BDC transition team, noted Bill Cole, Chief Executive Officer of the BDC. Its thorough analysis will prove to be incredibly helpful to … continued efforts to ensure that economic development activity reaches all of Baltimore. I look forward to working with the Mayor to implement the recommendations as we are perfectly aligned in her vision for growing the City and improving the services BDC provides to Baltimore businesses and residents.”
The recommendations included in the Transition Report support Mayor Pugh’s optimism about Baltimore’s future and people; and underscores the urgent need to focus on more concentrated efforts like operating great schools, developing clean mixed-income neighborhoods, building safer communities and creating job opportunity.
“Each committee member should be applauded for their hard work, smart ideas, and the collaborative spirit in which they contributed to the transition discussions as a partner with government,” noted Greater Baltimore Committee President Donald Fry. “It’s clear that the strong set of final recommendations could not have been done without voices from Baltimore’s communities and private sector, all of whom believe deeply in Baltimore’s future and served to ensure the Mayor and her administration are positioned for success.”
Recognizing the relationship between Baltimore’s infrastructure and the life outcomes of residents, committee members also focused on creative ways to build equity through innovation in areas such as transit, public health and open spaces.
“The reality about transportation is that it’s future-oriented,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA Maryland who served on the Transportation Transition Committee. “For thousands of people of color, immigrants and Latinos in our City, affordable, accessible, efficient and safe public transportation provides a critical link to good jobs, education, housing, schools, childcare and medical care to move out of poverty, improve their quality of life and have brighter future.”
Public safety continued to be a common thread and priority for all committees and members. Mayor Pugh expressed that “The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) cannot complete its mission if it continually operates from a position of significant personnel deficits or without modernizing practices to improve its relationship with communities of color and residents at large.”
“What we do today, what direction we take, when it comes to public safety are decisions of life and death,” noted Thiru Vignarajah, Public Safety Committee Member and Partner at DLA Piper LLP. “Crime has touched every corner of our City, and we have to confront this challenge like the urgent crisis it has become. Everyone has a right to be safe, on every street, at every hour. And, we simply cannot afford to lose any more children, any more fathers and mothers, to the cycles of violence and addiction, to the revolving doors of poverty and prisons. Our recommendations reflect the Mayor’s central mission — the bloodshed must end, a problem of this dimension demands ambitious solutions and immediate action, and we can’t do this alone — everyone has to work together and do their part.”
Mayor Pugh will review the Committees’ recommendations and use it as a guide to develop a strategic plan for moving Baltimore forward.
In recent weeks Mayor Pugh initiated a citywide Call-to-Action to continue to leverage community leadership and expertise. She is partnering with residents, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions to chart the path for Baltimore’s future.
For a copy of the full transition report go to: https://pughforbaltimore.com/pughtransitionreport/