In June, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was named 73rd President Of The U.S. Conference Of Mayors (USCM). With this appointment, she has made history as the first African-American female president of the 83-year old organization.
?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,? Rawlings-Blake said of her appointment.
She continued, ?We will make sure that our priorities are part of the national debate and that commitments are made to our cities and urban America.?I want this year to be the year that we make our voices heard and drive the agenda. ? Nearly 90% of the people and 90 percent of the jobs are in our metro areas. And because of that, Washington needs to step up.?
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.? Most recently, Rawlings-Blake served on a special working group of mayors and police chiefs put together by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during his Presidency to develop a series of recommendations for local and national actions intended to improve policing in America.? The group presented its final recommendations to President Obama?s Task Force on 21st Century Policing at its Winter Meeting in January in Washington, D.C.
Under her leadership, Baltimore has received numerous awards from the USCM:
??????? A Community Wins Award in 2015 $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 as is seen by millions of passengers along Amtrak?s Northeast Corridor.
??? ???? City Livability Awards in 2011 for the Vacants-to-Value program that utilizes the private market to maximize the repair and rehabilitation of vacant properties; and in 2012 for the ?Power in Dirt? program, which converts vacant lots around Baltimore into community green space given a limited city budget.
??? ???? A GRO1000 Garden and Green Space Award in 2012 for $15,000 to the Parks and People Foundation for a new initiative to create community vegetable gardens that will serve as educational sites where residents can learn about growing and cooking healthy food.
??? ???? Dollarwise Grants in 2011 for $4,000, and in 2013 for $15,000 for integrating financial education into Baltimore?s Summer Jobs program.
??? ???? An Award of Distinction in?2011?for the Lead-Safe?For Kids Sake ?Grant Program, which provided $50,000 funding for lead abatement in the Baltimore community.