New editions of the State Legislative Tracker and The Policy Tracker available now!

Baltimore, Maryland

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Baltimore, Maryland
Seal of Baltimore, Maryland.png
General information
Mayor:Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Mayor party:Democratic
Last mayoral election:2011
Next mayoral election:2016
Last city council election:2011
Next city council election:2016
City council seats:15
2015 FY Budget:$1.648 billion
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:622,104
Gender:52.8% Female
Race:African American 63.3%
White 31.6%
Asian 2.6%
Two or More Races 2.0%
Ethnicity:Hispanic or Latino 4.6%
Median household income:$40,803
High school graduation rate:79.6%
College graduation rate:26.1%
Related Baltimore offices
Maryland Congressional Delegation
Maryland State Legislature
Maryland state executive offices
Baltimore is an independent city in Maryland. As of 2013, its population was 622,104.[1]

City government

See also: Mayor-council government

The city of Baltimore utilizes a "strong mayor" and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body while the mayor serves as the city's chief executive.


The mayor serves as the city's chief executive and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and overseeing the city's day-to-day operations. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is the current Mayor of Baltimore.[2]

City council

The Baltimore City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[3]


The Baltimore City Council has fifteen members. Fourteen are elected by the city's fourteen districts, while the Council President, who presides over council meetings, is elected at-large.[3]

A current list of council members can be found here.

Council committees

The Baltimore City Council features twelve standing committees, which focus on individual policy and legislative issues. Generally, the drafting of city legislation begins with the committees.[4]

A current list of Baltimore City Council committees can be found here.



Baltimore last held elections for city council and mayor in November 2011. Normally, the next election would take place in 2015, but in 2012 the city of Baltimore chose to move its municipal elections from odd years to even years in order to align them with state and federal elections. This means that Baltimore's next municipal election will take place in 2016.[5]


Baltimore's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2015 was $1.648 billion.[6]

Contact information

Office of the Mayor
City of Baltimore
100 North Holliday Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202

The mayor's office website also provides an online contact form. It can be accessed here.

City Council
City Hall
100 N. Holliday Street, Suite 400
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

To contact individual council members, see here.

Ballot measures

See also: City of Baltimore, Maryland ballot measures

The city of Baltimore is an independent city, meaning that it is not part of the surrounding Baltimore County. A list of ballot measures in Baltimore is available here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Maryland

Baltimore is a charter city and follows the state process for initiative and referendum.


In 2013, Baltimore's federal lobbying related expenses amounted to approximately $136,000.[7] The issues for which the city filed in 2013, as well as the number of reports, can be seen in the box below. The issues column lists the generic issues that lobbyists working for local governments are required by law to disclose on quarterly federal disclosure forms.[8][9] The reports column gives the number of reports lobbyists filed in regards to each generic issue. To learn more about the details of the specific issues for which Baltimore filed reports, read the federal disclosure forms by clicking the "Issues" links in the box below.

Federal Lobbying Issues, 2013
Reports Issues
8 Disaster & Emergency Planning
8 Education
8 Law Enforcement & Crime
8 Housing
8 Transportation
4 Urban Development
4 Immigration
4 Roads & Highways
4 Small Business
4 Taxes
4 Health Issues
4 Homeland Security
4 Economics & Econ Development
4 Agriculture
4 Alcohol & Drug Abuse
4 Fed Budget & Appropriations
4 Clean Air & Water
4 Radio & TV Broadcasting

Public pensions

See also: Maryland public pensions

According to a 2010 report published at Northwestern University, Baltimore is one of the ten municipalities with the largest amount of unfunded pension liabilities. Nationwide there is $574 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for local pension plans, and this is in addition to the $3 trillion in debt facing state-sponsored pension plans.[10] The report states that the pension plans could be out of money as early at 2025.[10]

City website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Maryland city websites
Budget Y
600px-Yes check.png
Meetings Y
600px-Yes check.png
Elected Officials Y
600px-Yes check.png
Administrative Officials Y
600px-Yes check.png
Permits, zoning Y
600px-Yes check.png
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records N
600px-Red x.png
Local Taxes Y
600px-Yes check.png

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • Vendor payments are provided.[11]
  • Posts information about audits and the current budget.[12]
  • City council members and their contact information are listed.[13]
  • Meeting minutes for 2010 are posted.[14]
  • Permits application and fees are listed on the website.[15]
  • Zoning information is available.[16]
  • Offers information and online payment for taxes.[17]
  • Information about lobbyist registration is posted on the website.[18]

The bad

See also

Suggest a link

External links