Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is another woman making waves in the state of Maryland with her recent historic appointment to the top position in the United States Conference of Mayors.
[Related: Baltimore Mayor Replaces Police Commissioner Batts]
As the first African American woman to lead the organization in its’ 83 years of existence, here’s what she had this to say to The Network Journal shortly after being appointed:
“At a time when women and African American women especially, still face many challenges, the honor of being a female president of this organization and the first African American female president is not lost on me.
We talk a lot about how cities are on the upswing. Articles and books are being written about the new renaissance that’s taken place reversing a trend of decades of decline of cities. And it’s all great. But as you all saw two months ago there are still very large segments of our cities that feel disenfranchised, disaffected, and disgusted. They don’t see the growth and positivity that occurs in other parts of town. It’s an issue of opportunity as much as it is an issue of policing. It’s as much an issue of jobs as it is policing. It’s as much an issue of community development as it is policing. It is as much an issue of education as it is community policing. And we don’t lose sight of that.”
According to the Network Journal, prior to becoming the president of the Conference of Mayors, Rawlings-Blake served as vice president over the past year. Before being elected to serve on the organization’s Executive Committee, she was a member of the Mayors’ Water Council for two years (2010–2012), and then became its co-chair in 2012.
Under her leadership, Baltimore has received numerous awards from the USCM including an award in 2015 for $300,000 to Civic Works Inc. for its work with Growing Green Tracks Team—a collaborative effort to address blight and improve the city’s image of Baltimore and an award in 2013 for $15,000 for integrating financial education into Baltimore’s summer jobs program.