SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES OF BALTIMORE CITY
Baltimore city demographic features are characterized by slight increase in the population between 2010 and 2013. The city has more females than males as at 2013, while majority of the population is above 18 years. The city has a dynamic population. The city is largely inhabited by the black Americans. The black Americans form 63.3% of the population. On the other hand, the white form 31.6% of the population by 2013. The Asian Americans are about 2.6 % of the city’s population (State County Quick Facts, 2013). The family sizes are averagely large, about four people per household. Most poor families are those led by the women. The city has some notable income disparities, with over 20% of the residents having incomes below the poverty line. The poor residents are mainly of the Africa American and American Indians. In terms of age, majority of the poor residents are those below 24 years. Also, most of the poor people do not have high school education, with the majority not working. Southwest parts and Patapsco are the most preferred residential places because of the good facilities and safer environment.
Crime rate is falling in the city. The city has effectively reduced the rats of occurrences, between 2008 and 2013; there has been a 5% fall in crime rate in relation to property crime (Baltimore County, 2014). In 2008, the total crimes reported were 70,073 while in 2013, a total of 60,321 crimes were reported.
The city hall offers several social services, offered under Baltimore City Department of Social Services (Baltimore County, 2014). The Empower Baltimore Management Corporation is a public utility entity that offers capacity building and support programs to empower the locals. The department of social services also offers several social activities. They include community social support, counseling, coordination and welfare programs. Specifically, the City Department of Social Services offer services relating to child care and adoption, adult, aging and family support, and medical assistance (Baltimore County, 2014). The health department also offers social services. For example, the city has infant, neonatal and Post-Neonatal mortality rates of 10.5, 7.1 and 3.4 respectively. The city department has plans to reduce these figures to 6.0, 4.1 and 2.0 respectively through comprehensive maternal education (Baltimore City Health Department, 2014). The department of Social Services also runs welfare services such as homelessness programs, food support, temporary cash assistance and disability assistance Program.
The Baltimore Mayor's program, the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, has been conceived to work with the neighborhood associations to promote security, public health and citizens’ engagements. The city police offer security services.
The city has very strong associations that influence the social events. The major associations include Community Arts Alliance of Maryland that brings together the professional artists. The St Helen Community Association, McKim Community Association and Highland Town Community offer community services. On the civic front, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland serve as the main civic body that seek to protect, promote and safeguard human rights and progression in the society.
The city‘s main source of local news is the baltimoresun.com. This acts as the mainstream media. However, the abc2news.com also offers customized news as an alternative newspaper.
Baltimore is a city of famous people and heroes. These people include actress Jada Pinkett, Horace Abbott a 19th century iron manufacturer, Arunah Shepherdson who founded the Baltimore Sun newspaper , Harvey Cushing, the neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins and the Union army general, James Lowry Donaldson.ECONOMIC ATTRIBUTES OF BALTIMORE CITY
The city is witnessing major infrastructural development poised to make it very competitive. Through the “Change to Grow: A Ten-Year Financial Plan for Baltimore”, the city authority has designed a financial plan aimed at initiating reforms to promote business (Baltimore County, 2014). The plan also seeks to do away with the 750 million dollars structural budget gap that has existed for nine years. The focus is to allow new business investments in the city neighborhood infrastructure. The major infrastructural development planned includes repairing of city and estate roads, and upgrading of ten recreation facilities including stadiums and parks.
The mayor has championed reduction of homeowner property taxes to spur growth in the real estate industry. The city has over 40,000 registered businesses that create most of the opportunities, while the unemployment level stands at 8% of the adult population (Baltimore County, 2014). Most of the businesses are owned by the black people while the women own less than half of the firms. The area has active manufacturing industries as indicated by the huge shipments. In 2007 $ 5,730,887, 000 worth of items was shipped from the city. The city has retail sales of about $6793 per capita, indicating that most businesses are SMEs.
The city has experienced some dynamic changes in the housing sector. By 2013, the data shows that the city had 295,737 housing units. Between 2008 and 2012, 48.8% of the residents owned their houses. Based on the records relating to employment and income, the per capita income was $24,155, while the median house level income for the periods 2008 to 2012 was $40,803. The city plans to demolish and rebuild more than four thousand vacant homes to offer decent housing. The area has the high level of poverty rate, with 23.4% living below the poverty level.
The economic muscle of the city has been greatly contributed to by the rich history. The city is associated with the Civil War and civil rights reforms and the origin of the country’s anthem. Captain John Smith is credited with naming of the city after sailing into the harbor. The city was a nerve center of the African Americans struggle for a race free American and general freedom. The city is a center of the industrial revolution, the historical wave of immigration and slavery.
Being the largest American independent city, Baltimore offers unique tourist attractions. The National Aquarium boasts over 17,000 animals and several award-winning exhibits. It has tropical forest attractions, coral reef and film shows (Baltimore County, 2014).). Other unique attractions include Mount Vernon and the Fell’s Point. The visitors also get to visit McHenry National Monument, the Banner Flag House and Allan Poe House. The city has many museums that house rich American history. They include Baltimore Museum of Art that has over ninety thousand works of art, American Visionary Art Museum and Sports Museum.
Initially, the city was known for the big steel, shipping, auto, and transport industries that have since minimized. The economy is currently stable owing to the business brought about by the ever increasing population, tourism, SMEs and service economy in the region. The city has many education services and social institutions such as hospitals and medical centers, schools and restaurants that promote economic competitiveness. These social service providers cater for the community within and the incoming visitors as well as tourists attracted by the serene beach environment in the region. Among the most prominent infrastructural facilities that promote economic ventures and connectivity include interstate highways like Jones Falls Expressway, McHenry Tunnel, BWI airport and Martin State Airport. These facilities are crucial in the economic aspect of the city and the region as they offer the required transport services that open up the area to visitors, investors and tourists.
The investors in tourism have focused on offering temporary home-like environments in resorts and motels. The city has some good hospitality industry and the related facilities. The major hotels in the city are the Royal Sonesta Harbor, Gramercy Mansion and Fairfield Inn & Suites. The CBD region has a number of prominent motel and accommodation joints. The level of competition is expected to be high. However, market share domination is determined by proximity to other popular joints such as restaurants and the Port of Baltimore as well as quality of services.
The city is famous for sporting events and activities. The city’s department of Sports provides numerous athletic and other sports services. The main facility owned by the city is the Recreation and Park. The City College has a football 'team, ‘the Knights’. The team represents the city in college tournaments. The sports fans Oriole Park is a major sporting facility in the city. The city fans also love the NFL’s Ravens as a famous team.
POLITICAL ATTRIBUTES OF BALTIMORE CITY
Baltimore city is administratively run by an elected mayor. It has a city-state relationship with Maryland. The mayor is housed at the City Hall. The city Council assists the mayor. The current mayor of the city is Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. She is the 49th mayor of the city and got elected 4 in November 2011. She is a very strong mayor, having garnered 87 percent of the vote cast during the mayoral election. The city is run by the Democratic Party. The majority of the residents support the Democratic Party, thus show strong political partisanship. The mayoral elections of 2011 show that the majority of the electorates are democrats. The primaries’ results showed that the total mayoral votes for the democratic candidates were 74,460 while the corresponding figures for the Republicans were 1,790 State Board of Elections, 2011). In terms of political representation, the city has nine geographical regions. The regions serve as electoral areas for the council representatives.
The major players in the city include the mayor, who runs Baltimore and the staff. The influential staff includes chief of staff, Kaliope Parthemos and the three deputy mayors, Dawn Kirstaetter, Robert Maloney and Andrew Smullian. The City Solicitor, George Nilson is equally influential. Alfred Redmer former member of the Maryland House of Delegates remain a very famous politician from the city.
When making major development in the city such as construction of the stadium, the city mayor must be involved. The other decision makers in mega projects include the deputy mayors, the environmental Control Board, the finance department, police commissioner, and department of planning and recreation and transportation authority. Regulations are a major political factor affecting the economic activities. Regulation measures instituted by the city authorities influence the businesses. The 2014 financial year budget figures show some changes in spending. These changes are mainly influenced by political decisions. The budget shows that the city planned to spend about $275 million on recreation, but the figure was increased to 287 million.
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