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Mayor of Addis Ababa
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About City Mayors

Mayor Martin O’Malley:
The City of Baltimore

Since the outset of his election, Mayor Martin O’Malley has directed the efforts and energy of his administration towards making Baltimore:

• a safer, cleaner city;
• a better place for children; and
• a more attractive place for investment.

In order to focus on the above priorities and create a more efficient and accountable government, Mayor O’Malley instituted CitiStat to hold all City managers accountable and to improve performance in critical service areas.  Neal Peirce, a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post, recently wrote that Mayor O’Malley’s CitiStat "may represent the most significant local government management innovation of this decade."

Making Baltimore a safer city
When Mayor O’Malley entered office, Baltimore was the most violent and addicted city in America.  Now, after reducing violent crime by 36% – to the lowest level since 1970 – the FBI reports Baltimore is leading the nation’s large cities in violent crime reduction.  The same federal government that called Baltimore America’s most addicted city, reports that Baltimore is leading the nation – behind only Dallas – in reducing drug-related emergency room admissions.

The Police Department’s narcotics enforcement agents have made some of the biggest heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy seizures in the history of Maryland - including only the 5th Ecstasy lab to be shut down in the United States. All of this within the past year. The City’s new organized crime unit has already seized $5.2 million in currency. To further this progress, the Baltimore Police Department has developed a new crime-fighting plan to eradicate the drug trade and improve the comfort and security of Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

Making Baltimore a better place for children
For the first time in a generation, Baltimore City’s schools are showing significant improvement.

For the past three years:
Every grade has improved its reading and math scores after 30 years of decline;
Three of our high schools are in the State's top ten;
More students each year are graduating from our high schools;
First and second graders scored above national average for the first time in 30 years

Unfortunately, the historic academic achievements of Baltimore’s children have been overshadowed by inefficiencies discovered in the central administration of the Baltimore City Public School System. Resulting from minimal accountability and an ineffective budgetary process, the system experienced a multimillion-dollar deficit. In response to this crisis in April of 2004, Mayor O’Malley stepped in to pledge a monetary bail out for the system.  To guarantee a return on this investment, the Mayor insisted on greater fiscal oversight by the City and the system-wide implementation of his management program, CitiStat.  The School System is now reaping benefits by running SchoolStat for all of their operations and cost centers. 

These benefits include:
reduced overtime and sick leave usage
the elimination of unnecessary repairs and vehicles in the school fleet
reduced transportation costs
the elimination of unnecessary contracts
facility improvements
better communication between agencies

Making Baltimore a more attractive place for investment
Almost four years ago, Baltimore’s home prices were stalled at an average of $69,000, and sales volume was flat. There hadn’t been a new office building developed in a decade. And unlike other cities in the booming 90s where construction equipment spilled out into the roads, traffic flowed freely through downtown Baltimore.

Just a quick look at where we are today.  Last month, the average home sales price hit $120,000 – almost doubling in four years.  Neighborhoods that were dormant are springing to life.  The most common features in Baltimore’s skyline are cranes, with $2 billion in new development – and almost the same amount in the pipeline.

In addition, the Mayor asked the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a plan to convert thousands of vacant and abandoned properties into immediate development opportunities.  This vision resulted in Project 5000, an initiative that led to the acquisition of over 5,000 properties in targeted neighborhoods in just over two years.  By partnering with local law firms and real estate companies, the City realized a tenfold increase in annual acquisitions by cutting acquisition timelines from 18 months to as little as six months. 

Biography of Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley, Mayor of Baltimore and 2004 World Mayor finalist for the Americas

World Mayor 2006

The World Mayor project is now in its third year. As in 2004 and 2005, this year’s World Mayor will again be seeking out mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles. It honours those who have served their communities well and who have made contributions to the well-being of cities nationally and internationally. The most outstanding mayor of 2006 will be presented with the World Mayor award.

In 2004, Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana, won the Award. The 2005 winner was Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens and now Greek Foreign Minister.

Between January and May each year, citizens from across the world are invited to nominate mayors for the World Mayor Award. They are also asked to provide reasons for their choice. After the close of the nomination stage, City Mayors, the organisers of the contest, prepare a shortlist of mayors who go forward to the second round of the World Mayor contest. In 2006, the list of finalists includes 50 mayors from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australasia as well as Africa.