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The transition to Pugh begins

P. Kenneth Burns

Catherine Pugh began outlining plans for her administration at a news conference Wednesday morning, her first as Baltimore’s mayor-elect.

For starters, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will stay, but longtime city Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano will be out.  And she wants to end the city-state partnership that has run the schools since the late 90s.

Pugh said she wants to focus on neighborhoods and communities; making sure new jobs come with new city residents who are able to shop and enjoy where they live.

“It’s not just about housing,” she said, “it’s making sure people have supermarkets and food deserts are erased in our city; that you can walk across the street to the drug store or the pharmacy; or you can go to the cleaners and get your clothes done in your neighborhood.”

Pugh spoke at Sarah’s Hope, a homeless shelter in Sandtown undergoing renovations.  She called it an example of public-private partnerships that she will seek during her administration.

She also announced her transition team as she prepares to become Baltimore’s 50th mayor.

The leadership committee includes Diane Bell McCoy, President and CEO of Associated Black Charities; Stephen Burch, Chairman of the University of Maryland Medical Systems Board of Directors; Calvin Butler, CEO of Baltimore Gas & Electric; Keenen Geter, Founder and Director of Young Men with Power; Rachel Monroe, President & CEO of The Weinberg Foundation, and Chuck Tildon, Vice President of United Way of Central Maryland.

Pugh also appointed smaller committees to focus on education and youth development, healthy neighborhoods, economic and employment development, transportation, and public safety.

In addition, Pugh launched a website, pughforbaltimore.com, for residents to submit ideas on how to run the city.

“I don’t want anyone to accuse this administration of not being open and transparent,” she said. “We want to hear from people.” 

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