Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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I have lived in Baltimore my entire life. We certainly benefit from our proximity to Washington DC (approximately 40 miles away). We have a large population of educated professionals, but we also have too large of an underclass. It really is a “have” vs “have nots” scenario. The area will be held back as a whole until the dismal high school graduation rates in Baltimore City are improved. Only about 60% of incoming freshman at Baltimore City public schools, leave school with a HS diploma. That cycle must be broken.

The city in which I was raised and still live is in many ways still too provincial. We should take advantage of having the capital of the free world lead our region. We can be our own independent city while still being a part of the Washington-Baltimore area. Even with our problems, we have successfully transitioned from a manufacturing economy to a service-based one. Our economy is very diverse with financial services, health care, consumer products and education leading the way. I used to be provincial, but now am quite happy to be living in the midst of the NY to Washington mega region. The opportunities are far greater here than in many parts of the U.S., especially the former rust belt.

Sent by David from Baltimore

2 Responses to “Baltimore”

  1. Libby Says:

    As someone who has lived in the metro area for 10 years, I have to admit that Baltimore has always been a little off-putting for me. What do you think it is that’s causing the city to be stunted in its growth… and do you think there’s anything that can help reverse the cycle?

  2. David Says:

    As mentioned, the underclass is much too large. There are way too many people in the city who drop out of the educational system without a HS diploma. This, of course, severly limits their options. Unfortunately, many turn to crime. So until the dismal HS graduate rate is improved significantly, don’t expect things to change in any meaningful way. There are parts of the city that are similar to the 3rd world, as are parts of many cities in the U.S.

    But I do think as a region we have transitioned well from our manufacturing heritage to a service-based economy. So I do not necessarily agree that we are stunted in our growth. The spoils have not been shared amongst the entire populace as well as they should be because of the aforementioned lack of education.

    I am just a firm believer in the power of education to create opportunity. Urban American really needs to wake up to that reality.

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