Mayor Schmoke went to Washington on Tuesday to collect Baltimore's award as an All-America City, one of 10 so designated by President Bush. The award is presented to communities that show successful collaborative approaches to problem-solving involving the public, private and non-profit sectors. Baltimore's Project Raise, a program that pairs city youngsters with adult mentors and which was one of three projects the city submitted to the contest judges, is a perfect example of the kind of grass-roots effort that makes life better on a neighborhood level.
At risk of sounding chauvinistically prideful, it's a richly deserved award. Mayor Schmoke deserves due credit for the city's successful entry, but the spirit of partnership that won the award goes back a long way -- at least to the 1970s, and probably before. The award is a testimony and a recognition of what can be accomplished when a mayor, a governor, a president, and an enlightened business community work in perfect harmony toward the goal of reinvigorating a weary but proud old community.