When Amazon announced their decision to start a second headquarters, every major metropolitan area wanted to get on board. The opportunity offers the potential for huge economic growth thanks to the size and growing power of Amazon—and even Maryland’s largest city, Baltimore, was being considered. That dream came to a screaming halt when the next round of candidates was announced and Baltimore was no longer included. This has left a lot of us wondering about the state of Baltimore city and, as it turns out, this has been a fantastic opportunity for analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the city.
Baltimore’s Public Relations Situation
Baltimore has long struggled with national perception. From HBO’S The Wire to the Freddie Gray protests, it has long been the case that Baltimore has a very negative reputation around the country. In light of recent public relations catastrophes, it becomes clear how much Baltimore struggles with this: freezing classrooms, viral videos of hospital patients being mistreated, corrupt police officers robbing drug dealers for their own gain. In light of these kinds of negative media appearances, it’s easy to fall victim to feeling negative about the city of Baltimore. The reality is though, Baltimore ranks pretty well in a lot of the criteria Amazon was searching for.
Tackling the Numbers
The Baltimore Sun did a fantastic write-up on what exactly Amazon was prioritizing and where we rank, which is worth a read. The takeaway, however, is that there are a lot of reasons to feel positive about Baltimore. In terms of cost of living, public transit, average commute times, and so on, we rank pretty well among other cities including New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. For every bit of Baltimore that we, as residents, may become frustrated with, it’s incredibly refreshing to look at the sheer numbers and compare ourselves against other, seemingly more successful cities, and realize that we’re doing quite a few things very well.
Learning to Love Baltimore
It wouldn’t be accurate to say Baltimore has nothing to improve on—our bus systems are sometimes tiring, our rates of violent crimes are staggering, our police force is plagued with issues—but it would be accurate to say that there’s plenty of hope for this city. The MTA has hammered out a lot of the issues regular commuters were having. We have new faces in office and even our police force who may be able to improve things. We’re being ranked as a city of interest worth visiting by big publications. Straying away from negative perceptions of the city can be difficult but necessary and, while we may not have the financial backing of Amazon’s presence, the numbers still show that Baltimore has quite a lot to be proud of.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Volunteering in Baltimore
To learn more about our youth programs, Attendance Affirmation Project, how to help, or to find out more about our services including hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194. You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.