After getting the assignment from Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Gia Blattermann had only about 12 hours to find a location and organize a reception last night for Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
The Little Italy Community Organization member knew exactly where the event should take place.
"The restaurant business has been hurt terribly," said Ms. Blattermann, 44, who has lived in Little Italy for 38 years. "We've been getting a licking, but we're trying to keep on ticking. That's why I thought we should get him into a restaurant with the people who are suffering with the economy."
Mr. Clinton concluded his evening in Maryland -- which began with a debate in College Park and included an appearance at a high school championship basketball game at the Baltimore Arena -- at an impromptu reception at Corbi's Restaurant in Little Italy. About 40 state and local politicians from the Baltimore area attended the event on short notice, including Mayor Schmoke, who has endorsed the Arkansas governor because of his commitment to reverse the decline of cities.