Is Baltimore ready for a new city slogan?

Councilman Kraft to file legislation for new slogan to honor the national anthem

September 08, 2014|By Yvonne Wenger | The Baltimore Sun

How's "Baltimore - Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner" sound for a new city slogan? City Councilman James B. Kraft is expected to introduce legislation at Monday's meeting to set a new official slogan to "celebrate Baltimore's essential link to our national anthem."

Kraft, who represents Southeast Baltimore, is asking for immediate adoption of a resolution to set the new slogan. He's also expected to file a companion bill.

It's too soon to tell if the slogan will have more staying more power than the city's last: "Baltimore: A Great Place to Grow," which was unveiled by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in 2011. Or "Baltimore - Get In On It," which was chosen in 2006 under then-Mayor Martin O'Malley

O'Malley's tagline, which the city paid a half a million dollars for a marketing firm to develop, was met with criticism from some.

"Get in on what?" Baltimore City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector asked at the time, after repeating it aloud three times.

Some previous slogans have had an easier time catching on, such as "Charm City," "The City That Reads" and "The Greatest City in America." Even some unflattering labels have been harder to shake (The Heroin Capital and The Murder Capital are two).

Also at Monday's council meeting, the members will be asked to approve the executive appointments for Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts to serve a full six-year term; Mary H. Talley, to head the city's Department of Human Resources; and Henry J. Raymond, as finance director.

Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young is calling for an informational hearing to discuss Batts' short- and long-term staffing plan, the number of officers available for duty and the agency's use of overtime. Young's warned that he'd be watching the police overtime budget closely this year.

Councilman Carl Stokes, who represents parts of East Baltimore, wants to call the director of the Department of Recreation and Parks to come before the council to discuss the implementation of the findings from an April audit.

The review, which has been demanded for years, found the agency confused revenue and expenses and kept erroneous financial statement, among other items.

Several other information hearings will be requested, including whether to expand the street sweeping program citywide and prohibiting racial profiling in city schools

Young has another request of the council. He wants his colleagues to pass a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearing at the Baltimore Civic Center, now known as the Baltimore Arena. He wants to commend the efforts of the Civic Commission at the time for securing "the performers who went on to change the social and popular culture of the time, making Baltimore City a part of that historic event."

ywenger@baltsun.com

twitter.com/yvonnewenger

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