News & Announcements
Governor O'Malley Declares Baltimore Maryland's "Capital for a Day"
August 2, 2010
BALTIMORE, MD - Today, Governor Martin O'Malley, joined by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, members of the General Assembly, other local officials and area residents, declared Maryland's largest city the state's "Capital for a Day." The monthly program brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities.
"As former Mayor of this great City, it gives me great pride to bring Maryland's Capital to Baltimore today as we celebrate our shared progress and resolve to address the challenges that still lie ahead to move our City and State forward even in tough times," said Governor O'Malley, making his "Capital for a Day" declaration during a Cabinet Meeting held at the University of Maryland Baltimore BioPark. "I want to thank the people of Baltimore for their hospitality today. As we come through these tough economic times stronger and more quickly than other states, we continue to work together to create and save jobs, and improve the conditions under which businesses, large and small, can create and save jobs."
"It is an honor to welcome Governor O'Malley back to Baltimore, and I appreciate the opportunity to meet with him and his cabinet members to discuss issues critical to making Baltimore better, safer and stronger," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "As the economic engine for the state, Baltimore plays a vital role in the future of Maryland. The Governor understands this, and his visit reinforces the importance of implementing effective economic development and community building strategies in our neighborhoods."
Even in tough economic times, the O'Malley-Brown Administration has made the tough choices and reforms necessary to keep Maryland moving forward, including in Baltimore City. Total public school investments have increased under the O'Malley-Brown Administration 21 percent in Baltimore City over the last three years. School construction investments under Governor O'Malley for Baltimore City have increased 85 percent compared to the previous four years, and capital investments have added to Baltimore's revitalization, providing $1.2 billion over four years - the most of any jurisdiction and a 35 percent increase over the previous administration - for important projects including an upgrade and expansion to the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant, improvements to the City's higher education institutions, and expansion projects at Baltimore hospitals.
Governor O'Malley began the day greeting community leaders in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, where he gathered with Mayor Rawlings-Blake at Habitat for Humanity on Fulton Avenue. After a brief walk in the neighborhood, Governor O'Malley and Mayor Rawlings-Blake joined Commissioner Bealefeld, public safety officials, community leaders, and others toannounce $7.1 million in public safety grants for the City of Baltimore.
"This much needed funding will provide the BPD with critical resources to continue our progress in reducing violent crime and significantly aide our efforts in getting bad guys off city streets," said Commissioner Bealefeld.
Following this announcement, Governor O'Malley visited New Song Academy, part of the New Schools Initiative, which opened under Governor O'Malley's time as Mayor of Baltimore. Under the O'Malley-Brown Administration, the number of Charter Schools in Maryland has more than doubled from 20 in 2007 to 42 currently operating throughout Maryland, the majority of which exist in Baltimore City. Four more are slated to open with the new school year in September, including two in Baltimore City.
Governor O'Malley then continued his "Jobs Across Maryland Tour" with a visit to the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark, a biomedical research park on the medical center campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore whose life science companies and academic research centers are commercializing new drugs, diagnostics and devices and advancing biomedical research. The BioPark launched under Governor O'Malley's time as Baltimore's Mayor, transforming one of the City's most troubled neighborhoods into an epicenter for life-saving innovation and discovery.
While there, Governor O'Malley announced that several of the BioPark's life sciences companies are growing and adding jobs. Gliknik, which is making new therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune disease; Fyodor, which is developing a treatment for malaria; and Biomere, which works to determine the efficacy of new drugs, will be hiring new employees in the coming months. In addition, the Park's BioInnovation Center, which provides short-term, pre-built lab space for early-stage bioscience companies, will be doubling in size to 18,000 square feet over the next six months and adding additional lab space, funded by a $1.5 million investment from BioPark developer Wexford Equities.
"On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of the University of Maryland I am delighted to welcome Governor O'Malley and his Cabinet to Baltimore," said Dr. Jay Perman, president of the University. He added "I and am both pleased and privileged that the Governor has chosen our BioPark as the site for naming our City as ‘Capital for the Day.'"
Following a brief tour of the BioPark where the Governor met with local employees, Governor O'Malley hosted an official Cabinet meeting, where members of the Executive Cabinet briefed the Governor on their respective meetings and events with local counterparts throughout the day. The Governor and Cabinet members then heard from Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Senator Nathaniel McFadden, Senator Verna Jones, and Councilman Bill Cole. The local officials discussed challenges and opportunities for further state-local partnerships to move Maryland and Baltimore City forward, including issues related to economic development, education, public safety, and local development projects.
"Capital for a Day," a program launched by Governor O'Malley in 2007, brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of monthly events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities. Previous "Capitals" have included East Baltimore County, Cecil County, Calvert County, Westminster, Hagerstown, Chestertown, Leonardtown, the Port Towns of Prince George's County, Cumberland, Pocomoke City, Gaithersburg, Laurel, Rockville, Bel Air, La Plata and Ellicott City.