Baltimore Together, a public-private initiative led by the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) to support creating a shared vision of inclusive economic growth in Charm City, serves as the city’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy over the next five years. Through a year-long process, a diverse group of stakeholders developed a comprehensive economic development strategy that officials from the initiative say builds on Baltimore’s strengths, acknowledges its challenges and identifies a range of steps that will help create an inclusive and vibrant economy for all.
“We’ve taken what we’ve done in the past to create this strategy document and expanded the scope and amount of engagement around this topic to make it, hopefully, a much more community-wide plan people can get involved with,” said Colin Tarbert, the president and CEO of the BDC. Tarbert serves as part of Mayor Brandon Scott’s administration. “Before, this was more of a government-type publication,” Tarbert remarked. “This time, we’re making it into a collaborative and participatory effort.”
Officials are now conducting a public review of the important document. They are inviting all in the city to comment at www.baltimoretogether.com. The comment period ends on September 30, 2021. Tarbert and city officials assert that the goal is to build an equitable economy in Baltimore. The plan identifies critically important goals to strengthen the city’s economy and outlines strategies for reaching them.
The vision would allow the city to demonstrate on a global scale how to create an urban economy based on diversity, inclusion, and resiliency and uplift historically excluded residents. All while attracting investment, businesses, individuals, and corporations committed to contributing to an equitable economy. “We took a lot of time to work on the vision statement and it’s really focused on Baltimore as a diverse and inclusive economy,” Tarbert insisted. “We call out a couple of specific things. First, we talk about uplifting historically excluded Baltimoreans, which is part of what makes this plan different. “We talk about attracting new investment and people, but we want people who are committed to an equitable vision. We talk about the history of systemic racism; we call out that we want to focus on policies that serve underserved businesses. We want to make sure that minority leaders are part of growth sectors like technology and logistics.”
The plan recognizes the city’s history of racialized economic disinvestment, according to Tarbert. He further said the plan also recognizes the damage done to Black residents because of systemic racism. Ultimately, city officials said work must occur collaboratively to address significant challenges and competitive imbalances that hold Baltimore back. Officials say that challenges such as racial disparities, crime, high taxes, and an inaccurate national profile must be tackled as part of an economic development strategy.
“For me, as Mayor and as a son of Baltimore, “Baltimore Together” represents developing collaborative and holistic approaches toward building a more equitable economy and ultimately a better city for all of our residents,” Mayor Scott noted in a statement. To comment or provide input, visit: www.baltimoretogether.com.