Mayor Catherine Pugh Wants Baltimore to Expand CitiStat office


Aug. 3, 2017 11:30 am

Mayor Catherine Pugh wants to expand the CitiStat program

One goal of doing so? "We’ve got to catch neighborhoods before they become rows of boarded up houses."

City Lab Baltimore panel.

Photo Courtesy LeAnne Matlach

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh says the right data is the key to unlocking Baltimore’s future.

At Wednesday’s City Lab Baltimore “pop-up summit” Pugh spoke about CitiStat, the government office staffed with analysts to examine data and identify areas of improvement.

The mayor said that while the office is a model for other cities, more can be done with CitiStat, especially when it comes to what the city is tracking.

Recent reports for CitiStat meetings show the city is tracking blight, operational liabilities, fire and various other statistics.

“We should be measuring how many children are graduating from school, how many children are going to college, and we should be measuring the health of our communities,” Pugh said at the Parkway Theatre Wednesday afternoon.

Pugh pointed to the statistic that the fastest growing populations in Baltimore are people between the age of 18 to 34 and people over the age off 55. She wants to know why people in between that age group aren’t staying and growing a life in the city.

“The challenge for Baltimore is how to keep the best and brightest in the city, and living in our city and not just going to school here,” she said commending efforts made by Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University to keep graduates in Baltimore.

Pugh adds she also wants to better utilize the city’s data capabilities to catch neighborhoods before blight takes over.

“You have neighborhoods that have been neglected for decades and then you go a few blocks over and there are homeowners and we want to figure out a way to make sure neighborhoods are safe and people can stay in their homes,” she said. “We’ve got to catch neighborhoods before they become rows of boarded up houses.”

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