|Secretary of the Democratic National Committee|
January 22, 2013
|Preceded by||Alice Germond|
|49th Mayor of Baltimore|
February 4, 2010
|Preceded by||Sheila Dixon|
|49th President of the Baltimore City Council|
January 17, 2007 – February 4, 2010
|Preceded by||Sheila Dixon|
|Member of the Baltimore City Council|
December 1995 – January 17, 2007
|Born||Stephanie C. Rawlings
March 17, 1970
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
|Spouse(s)||Kent V. Blake|
|Relations||Nina Rawlings, M.D. (mother)
Pete Rawlings, (father)
|Alma mater||University of Maryland (J.D.)
Oberlin College (B.A.)
Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake (born March 17, 1970) is an American politician and the 49th and current mayor of Baltimore, Maryland. She is the second woman to hold the office. A member of the Democratic Party, she currently serves as secretary of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Education
- 3 Political career
- 4 Political positions and policies
- 5 Other activities
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life and family
Rawlings-Blake was born in Baltimore and grew up in the city's Ashburton neighborhood. She is the daughter of Dr. Nina Rawlings, M.D., and Howard "Pete" Rawlings, former member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Rawlings-Blake attended Oberlin College in Ohio, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in political science. She later returned to Baltimore to attend the University of Maryland School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1995. She was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1996 and to the federal bar in 1997.
Rawlings-Blake is an alumna of the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound Center and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Epsilon Omega chapter. She is a former at-large member of the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys.
From 1990 to 1998, Rawlings-Blake served on the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, and in 1993 she served as the Annapolis lobbyist for the Young Democrats of Maryland.
In 1997 Rawlings-Blake began serving as an administrative law attorney with the Baltimore City office of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, which offers free civil legal services to Maryland's low-income residents. She went on to serve as a staff attorney with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in its Southern District (District 1, Baltimore City) from 1998 to 2006.
Baltimore City Council
In 1995, Rawlings-Blake became the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council. She represented the council's District 5 from 1995 to 2004 and District 6 from 2004 to 2007 (following a redistricting of the council).
From 1999 to 2007, Rawlings-Blake served as vice president of the Baltimore City Council.
City council president
Rawlings-Blake became President of the Council on January 17, 2007, when then-City Council President Sheila Dixon became mayor. The Charter of Baltimore City states that, "If it becomes necessary for the president of the City Council to fill the unexpired term of the mayor…the City Council, by a majority vote of its members, shall elect a new president for the unexpired term."
On June 14, 2007, Rawlings-Blake announced that she would seek a full four-year term as council president. Her platform included improving education and reducing crime in the city. Rawlings-Blake won the Democratic primary with 49 percent of the vote. In the general election, Rawlings-Blake defeated her only opponent with 82 percent of the vote.
Mayor of Baltimore
On January 6, 2010, then-Mayor Sheila Dixon announced, following her conviction for embezzlement, that she would resign from office, effective February 4, 2010. Under the Baltimore City charter, whenever the mayor's office becomes vacant, the sitting city council president automatically ascends to the mayor's post for the balance of the term. Consequently, following Dixon's resignation on February 4, 2010, Rawlings-Blake became mayor of Baltimore City.
Rawlings-Blake went on to seek a full term as mayor in November 2011. In the September 13 Democratic primary, she won 52 percent of the vote. She then won a full term in the November general election, receiving 84 percent of the vote.
Rawlings-Blake has stated that her goal as mayor is to grow Baltimore by 10,000 families.
On September 11, 2015, Rawlings-Blake announced that she would not seek re-election as Mayor of Baltimore. The mayor stated, "It was a very difficult decision, but I knew I needed to spend time focused on the city's future, not my own."
2015 Baltimore protests
In a press conference addressing the riots that took place during the 2015 Baltimore protests, Rawlings-Blake stated, "It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.” The phrase "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well" was interpreted by some conservative-leaning news sources as an indication that the mayor was giving permission to protesters to destroy property, while some others, including Breitbart News Network, pointed out that "when you look at the full context, it’s clear the Mayor meant something different (though it’s also true she didn’t say it very clearly)."
On April 27, 2015, the mayor's Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, Howard Libit, released a statement clarifying the mayor's remarks:
What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.
The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement.
Political positions and policies
On February 6, 2013, Baltimore City released a 10-year fiscal forecast, which the City had commissioned from independent financial consulting firm Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM) at Rawlings-Blake's direction. The report outlined a number of fiscal obstacles facing the City in subsequent years.
To address the challenges outlined in the fiscal forecast, Rawlings-Blake presented Change to Grow: A Ten-Year Financial Plan for Baltimore, the City’s first long-range financial plan. Among other major reforms, the plan outlined proposed changes to Baltimore City’s employee pensions and benefits system, City tax structure, and overall municipal operations. By implementing elements of this plan, Baltimore City has been able to extinguish $300 million from a cumulative budgetary shortfall forecasted at approximately $750 million.
At the time Rawlings-Blake took office, Baltimore City had approximately 16,000 vacant buildings, resulting from a half-century of population decline. In November 2010, in an effort to reduce urban blight caused by vacant structures, Rawlings-Blake introduced the Vacants to Value (V2V) initiative. The initiative's strategies include streamlining code enforcement and disposition of City-owned vacant properties, offering incentives targeted at home buyers who purchase previously vacant homes, supporting large-scale redevelopment in deeply distressed areas, and targeting demolition to improve long-term property values.
In 2013, Baltimore Housing won the Urban Land Institute's Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards for the V2V initiative. V2V has also been recognized by the Obama Administration, the Clinton Global Initiative, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ABCD Network, and the Financial Times.
In 2015, Rawlings-Blake became the first mayor to appear in the musical Chicago, saying "I am honored to be the first mayor to appear in Chicago—one of the most historic shows in Broadway history—and I want to reassure the cast and crew that I am already hard at work rehearsing my lines. I always love to show off the 'razzle dazzle' of Baltimore's flourishing cultural scene, from expanding our Arts & Entertainment Districts, to growing Baltimore's downtown theater corridor and all that jazz. I cannot wait to make my big debut in an amazing show like Chicago." She appeared in a one night performance on March 4, 2015, as an ensemble performer throughout the night.
Awards and honors
Rawlings-Blake was named as a Shirley Chisholm Memorial Award Trailblazer by the National Congress of Black Women, Washington, DC Chapter (2009) and as an Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record (2010). In 2013, she was included in The Baltimore Sun's list of 50 Women to Watch.
She is a recipient of the Fullwood Foundation Award of Excellence (2010), the National Forum for Black Public Administrators' Distinguished Leadership Award (2012), the Maryland State Senate's First Citizen Award (2013), and the Baltimore Black Pride ICONS We Love Award (2013).
Rawlings-Blake currently lives in Baltimore’s Coldspring neighborhood with her husband, Kent Blake, and their daughter, Sophia. She is a member of Douglas Memorial Community Church, a historic Methodist Episcopal church in downtown Baltimore.
On May 9, 2013, Rawlings-Blake’s 20-year-old cousin, Joseph Haskins, was shot and killed during a home invasion robbery.
|2003 Baltimore City Council, District 6, Democratic Party primary election|
|Democratic||Seth A. Rosenberg||487||6%|
|Democratic||Vincent "Rick" Fullard||251||3%|
|Democratic||Kelley C. Brohawn||243||3%|
|Democratic||Kevin L. Williams||132||2%|
|2003 Baltimore City Council, District 6, Democratic Party general election|
|Republican||Melvin A. Bilal||1,151||9%|
|2007 Baltimore City Council, President, Democratic Party primary election|
|Democratic||Kenneth Harris Sr.||9,927||12%|
|Democratic||Charles U. Smith||369||0%|
|2007 Baltimore City Council, President, general election|
|2011 Mayor, Baltimore, Democratic Party primary election|
|Democratic||Otis Rolley III||9,415||13%|
|Democratic||Joseph T. Landers||5,089||7%|
|Democratic||Frank M. Conaway||2,095||3%|
|Democratic||Wilton Lloyd Wilson||235||0%|
|2011 Mayor, Baltimore, Democratic Party general election|
|Republican||Alfred V. Griffin||6,108||13%|
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