Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Busting Out Of The Baltimore Mayoral Gate: Otis Rolley

Busting Out Of The Mayoral Race Gate: Otis Rolley

This fall, Baltimorians will once again have a say in who runs their city.  With the beginning of 2011 comes a flurry of activity as runners announce their candidacy and an alignment of camps begins.  Busting from the gate is Otis Rolley, former Director of Planning for the City of Baltimore and creator of the city’s first Comprehensive Master Plan in 39 years.

In November 2010, Otis Rolley received national attention for his speech on urban renewal at TEDxMidAtlantic conference in Washington D.C. where he garnered much praise for a thought-provoking presentation. Not long thereafter, Rolley announced his bid for mayor of Baltimore and, riding a wave of popularity into the new year, Rolley has quickly been thrust into the spotlight as a formidable contender.

On January 1st, notable Tech Entrepreneur Dave Troy provided a written endorsement for Rolley titled A New Leader For Baltimore where he discusses Baltimore’s past political climate and states “Enough. It’s time to move forward again.”

Dave Troy (excerpts):

In 2010 we saw some new trends: long-term incumbents who fit the old standard – of merely not being demonstrably corrupt or incompetent – were booted out. And not because of typical anti-incumbent anger, but because people saw something else: that maybe we could demand better.

I support Otis Rolley in his candidacy for Mayor of Baltimore in 2011. At 36, Otis is part of the new guard.

Baltimore is Otis’ first priority. He has no aspirations for higher office. He wants to work for Baltimore and for all of you. In 2011, we have the wind at our backs – cities are on the upswing, and the Internet is connecting us in unprecedented ways. It’s time to take back our cities and make them the vital, beautiful, functional, and inclusive places we all know they can be. Otis Rolley can help us do that. This is Baltimore’s moment; let’s seize it together.

On Friday, Rolley spoke on Go Green Radio about creating a sustainable Baltimore.  He explained how populations are shifting to urban areas and these areas need to be as sustainable as possible.  When asked about what makes a “sustainable city”, Rolley spoke about a holistic approach that focuses on public health, parks and schools, a city’s walkability, access to quality foods and architectural preservation.  “The greenest buildings are the oldest buildings” Rolley points out and explains the importance of reinvesting in Baltimore’s structures, to which he adds, are “some of the best in the country”.

In regards to a green Baltimore and its relationship to the business community, Rolley calls attention to his endorsement from Troy and explains how Baltimore offers a wealth of opportunities for green tech companies.  Rolley notes our close proximity to other cities and the rich pool of talent offered at Baltimore’s many colleges and universities.

Rolley also explained how, if he is elected mayor, there will be a shifting of priorities from chasing after Fortune 500 companies to “recognizing the strength and long term sustainability” of small and start-up businesses in Baltimore.  He cites Under Armour as an example. “We didn’t recruit them from somewhere else”, Rolley reminded the listening audience and described quality jobs created from such businesses.

To learn more about Baltimore mayoral candidate Otis Rolley, CLICK HERE.


Otis Rolley Is Speaking Out! -For Mayor, That Is

Otis Rolley Is Speaking Out!
-For Mayor, That Is

Photo Courtesy of Otis Rolley on Facebook

Back in May, Baltidome put out a plea for challengers to current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and now a glimmer of hope may be on the horizon for the green-minded of Baltimore.

Rawlings-Blake has shown no love to environmentally conscious Baltimorians as she quickly wiped out the widely popular Cleaner Greener Baltimore campaign within weeks of taking office and has seemingly been on a sustainability rub-out ever since.

In a just a few short months Rawlings-Blake has replaced sustainability efforts years in the making (the plastic bag ban, HAZMAT collection days, Main Streets programs) with Indy racing, full support for a potential downtown Walmart Shopping complex (whose plan appears not to comply with current sustainability laws), a beverage tax, cuts to Parks and Senior Centers and more.

Imagine Baltidome’s delight to hear of challenger Otis Rolley, who reportedly “drew loud applause and cheers from the audience” at last week’s TEDxMidAtlantic event “for a shout-out to Baltimore as he opened his presentation on a fresh approach to urban renewal” (BmoreMedia article).  “If you’re really serious about rebuilding neighborhoods, you have to invest in structures that value people,” Rolley asserted.

Baltidome will be looking forward to hearing and reporting more about 2011 Mayoral Candidate Otis Rolley.