Today, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake unveiled her administration’s new slogan for the city, “Baltimore: A Great Place to Grow,” coinciding with this morning’s swearing-in ceremony, as the 41-year-old mayor formally begins her first full four-year term.
(Rawlings-Blake, who inherited the job in February 2010 following Mayor Sheila Dixon’s corruption trial and resignation, won the general election for mayor last month.)
The new slogan, draped across the front of City Hall yesterday, features sun rays shining over a silhouetted downtown.
“Grow” will also be the theme of tonight’s Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Baltimore ($75 a pop if you’re interested) and the subject of the mayor’s swearing-in speech (the ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m. at the War Memorial Plaza where city police recently evicted a homeless solidarity sleep-out).
Rawlings-Blake yesterday told The Baltimore Sun (whose venerable sunbeam masthead shares a lot in common with the new “Grow” graphic) that repopulating Baltimore is the overarching goal of her next term.
The city has lost more than 300,000 residents in the last 50 years, meaning there are only two Baltimoreans today where there were three in 1960. The mayor said her goal is to add 10,000 families to the city’s roster in the next decade.
She also said she’d like to serve another term, which would take her mayorship up to the cusp of year 2020. (So take that, Jack Young!)
Anyway, back to the new slogan: It made us recall the ones that used to be plastered on bus stop benches and bannered across schools. Each one seemed to reflect the personality of the mayor.
• For ultimate B-more booster William Donald Schaefer, it was “Baltimore Is Best” and, according to some accounts, “Charm City.”
• For cerebral Kurt Schmoke, it was “The City That Reads” (or “Bleeds” or “Breeds” after the parodists got through with it.)
• For ambitious Martin O’Malley, it was “The Greatest City in America,” plus the biblical-sounding commandment, “Believe.”
So now it’s “A Great Place to Grow.” Hard to argue with the goal, though it does sound a bit like an exurban housing development struggling to attract buyers. What do you think, Brew readers?