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An Education In Politics

From Her Early Days At Her Father's Side, Stephanie Rawlings-blake Has Prepared For Her New Role As 49th Mayor Of Baltimore

Sun Profile

February 04, 2010|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,julie.scharper@baltsun.com

Now, she faces staggering budgetary challenges in the months ahead. She inherits a $60 million shortfall in the current financial year and the need to slash up to $126 million from next year's budget; police and fire pension problems could push the city $60 million more into the red.

It will take no small amount of political and personal skills to navigate the budget-cutting, and come away, if not unscathed, at least not entirely to blame. The calm and analytical bearing she inherited from her father will be invaluable, as will the personal warmth and dry wit.

At a recent luncheon work session, Councilman Bill Henry asked if she were open to amendments to an ethics bill she was introducing.

"No," she said, glaring. Then she lifted the corner of her mouth in a half-smile and flashed her big brown eyes - a characteristic expression.

"Of course I am, Bill."

Baltimore Sun reporters Tricia Bishop, Annie Linskey, Justin Fenton and Jill Rosen contributed to this article.

From birth to mayor's office

March 17, 1970: Stephanie Rawlings born

1984: Wins her first election, becoming vice president of her class at Western High School

1988: Graduates from Western High School

1990: Elected to the Democratic State Central Committee

1992: Earns Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Oberlin College

1995: Earns law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law

Nov. 7, 1995: At age 25, becomes youngest Baltimore City Council member ever elected

June 5, 1996: Becomes a member of the Maryland state bar

1997-1998: Working at Legal Aid Bureau as administrative law attorney

July 1997: Becomes a member of the federal bar

1998-2006: An attorney with the Baltimore Office of the Public Defender

2000: Delegate to the Democratic National Convention

2000: Marries Kent Blake

2003: Introduces bill to create Baltimore's Operation Crime Watch

2003: Daughter Sophia is born

Jan. 17, 2007: Elected City Council president

Nov. 14, 2003: Her father, Howard P. "Pete" Rawlings, dies

2007: Launches city contest to honor Top Moms and Top Dads

2007: Named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women by The Daily Record

Oct. 2009: A bill she introduced to expand live entertainment in the city passes

Jan. 6: Mayor Sheila Dixon announces her resignation

Today: Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake becomes 49th mayor of Baltimore

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