Chair, Board of Public Works, 2007-. Chair, Governor's Executive Council, 2007-; State House Trust, 2007-; P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland, 2007- . Member, Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, Leadership Council, 2007-; State Commission on the Capital City, 2007-; Maryland Environmental Trust, 2007-; Rural Maryland Council, 2007-; Maryland Veterans Home Commission, 2007-; Governor's Workforce Investment Board, 2007-. Member, Appalachian Regional Commission, 2007-; Chesapeake Executive Council, 2007- (chair, 2007-08); Education Commission of the States, 2007- (Maryland Education Council); Interstate Mining Commission, 2007-; Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, 2007-; Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, 2007-; Southern Regional Education Board, 2007-; Southern States Energy Board, 2007-; Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 2007-; Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, 2009-.
Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, December 1999 to January 17, 2007. Member, Advisory Council for Port Land-Use Development, 1999-2005; Board of Estimates, Baltimore City, 1999-2007. Member, Board of Directors, Baltimore Metropolitan Council, 1999-2007 (chair, 2004; vice-chair, 2003). Member, Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, 1999-2007. Board of Directors, Maryland African American Museum Corporation, 1999-2007. Board of Visitors, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland Medical System, 1999-2007.
Co-Chair, Task Force on Federal-Local Law Enforcement, 2001-07, and Chair, Homeland Security Task Force, 2003-07, U.S. Conference of Mayors. Chair, International Task Force, National League of Cities, 2005-07.
Assistant State's Attorney, Baltimore City, 1988-90. Member, City Council, Baltimore City, representing 3rd District, 1991-99 (chair, legislative investigations committee; chair, taxation & finance committee).
Born in District of Columbia, January 18, 1963. Catholic University of America, B.A., 1985; University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1988. Admitted to Maryland Bar, 1988. Attorney. Member, Maryland State Bar Association. State field director, "Mikulski for Senate" campaign, 1986. Legislative fellow with U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, 1987-88. Board of Trustees, Walters Art Museum, 1999-. Delegate, Democratic Party National Convention, 2000, 2004, 2008. Board of Directors, Maryland Municipal League, 2006-07. Member, Maryland Association of Counties (legislative committee). Honorary Chair, Board of Trustees, Baltimore City Historical Society, 2002-. Honorary member, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, 2002-. State Chair, Hillary Rodham Clinton Maryland Presidential Campaign, 2007-08. Vice-Chair, Democratic Governors Association, 2008- (finance chair, 2007-08). Member, National Governors Association (public safety task force; chair, homeland security task force). Member, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Urban Innovation Award, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, 2002. Award for Public Service, Center for Irish Programs, Boston College, 2002. National Award for Local Arts Leadership, U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2004. Leadership Award, Energy Efficiency Forum, United States Energy Association, 2005. Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2007. Award, Progressive Maryland, 2007. Sportsmen's Best Friend of the Year Award, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation, 2008. Leadership in Government Award, Keystone Center, 2008. Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative Courageous Leadership Award, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Committee, 2009. Member, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Married; four children.
Called one of America's five best mayors by Time magazine, Martin O'Malley is a fearless, intelligent public servant who puts people before politics. During his six years as mayor of Baltimore City, he has worked tirelessly with the city's citizens and public servants to make it a more beautiful, cleaner city where people want to live and businesses want to invest. Proof that the O'Malley Administration's drive to improve the quality of life in Baltimore is now bearing fruit is seen in the largest decline in violent crime of any big city in the country and in increased achievement and test scores across the board in city schools. This year the City also had a $38 million budget surplus - the largest in Baltimore's history - and a 5-year, $75 million tax cut which has reduced property taxes to a 30-year low.
Martin O'Malley sums up Baltimore's comeback this way: "Our story is the story of perseverance, it is the story of hope in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, and it is the story of hard work and a courageous and diverse people who join together time and time again to triumph over adversity."
Born in 1963, the Governor was raised in Bethesda and Rockville, Maryland, the eldest son in a family of six children. His ebullient spirit was evident early on as he developed what would be lifetime passions for history, Irish culture and music.
His parents, Tom and Barbara O'Malley, instilled in their children an appreciation for the importance of public service, and the difference that political leadership can make in people's lives. Martin O'Malley inherited an interest in the practical side of politics and remembers campaigning with his father for local candidates.
"I was very lucky - I was raised in a home where pictures of King and Kennedy and Roosevelt hung on our walls. My parents taught me that public service could be a high and noble calling."
O'Malley attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., a Jesuit school with a long history and a commitment to helping its students fulfill the ideal of becoming "Men for Others." The idea that faith is expressed through service to those in need was a core value at the school and, along with his classmates, he participated in the renowned Eagle program, serving in tutoring programs and other efforts to provide assistance for the residents in the impoverished neighborhood surrounding the school.
"So you'd come in from the lily-white suburbs, and you’d see the nation's Capitol looming up in front of you, and then when we took that left onto I Street, you'd walk by the morning line of homeless and poor and jobless men who were waiting in line at Father Horace McKenna’s,” a Jesuit priest who ministered to the poor from the church next to the school. "That was not lost to many of us walking into school by that line every day, how lucky we were, how much we had."
His high school years were also a time when O'Malley expanded on his early interests in other areas, as he played football, acted in school plays, and pursued his love of music as a member of an Irish band, the Shannon Tide, which played engagements all over the region.
Wanting to Make a Difference: Learning from the Inside
In December of 1982, Martin O'Malley, still in college at Catholic University, signed on with the Gary Hart for President campaign. He rose through the ranks, and in late 1983, volunteered to go to Iowa, where Hart was a virtual unknown. He phone-banked, organized volunteers, and even played guitar and sang at small fund-raisers and other events. Hart was the surprising runner-up in the caucus, and Martin headed to other states such as Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. It was an exhilarating time for O'Malley and he was forever changed by the opportunity to travel across the country, see new things and to meet new people and hear their stories. After returning to Maryland, Martin O'Malley finished college and enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.
"I remember just having this feeling, a sense of mission, that I was going to get involved in public life. Hart turned me on to the fact that one person can make a difference."
In 1986, Barbara Mikulski named Martin O'Malley as her state field director for her successful primary and general campaigns. The campaign was historic in that Mikulski became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the Old Line State and one of the first women elected to the U.S. Senate. Later he served as a legislative fellow in Senator Mikulski's office, where he focused on obtaining federal funding for projects in the State of Maryland.
While working on the campaign, he crossed paths with a striking young woman named Catherine Curran. Katie, as she was known to friends and family, was working for the campaign of her father, Joseph Curran, who was a candidate for Maryland's Attorney General. At the time (as Katie likes to remind Martin), he didn't seem to make much of an impression on her as she focused on helping her father win his race but two years later, after a chance encounter, Martin O'Malley made the best decision of his life and asked Katie out on a date. A year and half later, they were married, and they honeymooned on the Eastern Shore.
After finishing law school, O'Malley went to work as a prosecutor for the State's Attorney of Baltimore City. As an Assistant State’s Attorney, he got an up-close view of the crime problems in Baltimore City, and how eager its citizens were for a change in how government was addressing a worsening crime problem. The seemingly never-ending cycle of drugs, guns, and murders had gripped the City. O'Malley also saw the incredible backlog of cases that faced the State's Attorney office and knew something had to be done.
More Work to Do
Martin O'Malley then decided to run for public office, realizing it was an even more direct way to make a difference in people’s lives. In 1990, he ran for the Maryland State Senate. On the morning after Election Day he was winning by 5 votes, but absentee ballots gave his opponent the election by a scant 44 votes.
A year later O'Malley ran for a vacant City Council seat in Baltimore's 3rd District. This time he didn't just win – he led the entire ticket. In his two terms on the council, Councilman O'Malley concentrated on housing and public safety issues, was a strong advocate for reducing property taxes, encouraged businesses to return to Baltimore, and protected the interests of the families of the 3rd District. He chaired the Legislative Investigations Committee and the Taxation & Finance Committee, and he became known for his outspokenness and the fierceness of his devotion to his constituents and the City. As a member of the City Council, O'Malley worked with the people of Baltimore on a daily basis and once again, he heard their calls for a new approach to combating violent crime in the City.
In 1999, O'Malley announced he would run for Mayor. After a campaign marked by frank and honest dialogue about the City's fears and hopes and a call to action that "there is more that unites us than divides us," Martin O'Malley won a competitive, three-way Democratic primary with over 50% of the vote and was then elected Mayor of Baltimore in 1999 at the age of 36, with 91% of the vote in the general election.
"I feared not trying more than I feared losing."
Martin O'Malley: A Record of Achievement
During his two terms as mayor, Baltimore became a national model for improvement in public safety, government efficiency, education and economic development. Martin O'Malley believes the foundation of Baltimore's comeback begins with public safety and a commitment to making every neighborhood an even safer place to call home.
His emphasis on public safety, and the hard work of police and Baltimore neighborhood citizens, brought about nearly a 40% reduction in violent crime, which leads the nation. Recognizing the relationship between addiction and criminal behavior, O'Malley led the way for Baltimore to double the money it spends on drug treatment, creating new substance abuse facilities and increasing drug treatment funding. As a result, Baltimore had the nation's second largest decline in drug-related emergency room visits.
Mayor O'Malley championed a computerized tracking system, CitiStat, which has shifted Baltimore's way of “doing government” from an antiquated patronage-based system to a contemporary, high-tech, performance-based system that zeroes in on areas of underperformance, using computerized databases to track targets and results. City department managers meet with the Mayor's office in a weekly meeting and are brought to task for their results. The power of information technology has been harnessed to manage the complexities of modern urban systems and procedures. CitiStat has saved Baltimore residents more than $160 million by making government more efficient and more responsive. In 2004, Mayor O'Malley's CitiStat accountability tool won Harvard University's prestigious Innovations in American Government award.
"It was not enough to just have dreams, you have to have faith that one person makes a difference. You have to be willing to risk action on that faith. And that's kind of a core belief of mine, and that’s what kept me in politics."
Martin O'Malley takes particular pride in having made it easier for Baltimore's children to achieve and succeed in their education, a measuring stick in the progress of any modern society. For the past three years, elementary school students have posted higher scores in reading, language arts, and mathematics at every grade level. Three of the top 10 high schools on the Maryland High School Assessment were Baltimore City Schools. And Baltimore's elementary students' achievement on state assessment tests is at the top of the largest urban school systems in the United States. Per-pupil spending has increased 14% since 2000, and Baltimore schools have received an unprecedented 37% increase in per capita funding over the last few years, with significant credit going to increased, effective lobbying on the City's behalf at the State level. Under O'Malley, student achievement and test scores in Baltimore are improving for the first time in a generation, and he has rescued the city's public school system from bankruptcy.
Mayor O'Malley also championed an economic development strategy dedicated to investing in all of Baltimore’s people and to improving the quality of life for the people who live and work in the City. O'Malley's administration also reversed a long trend by bringing new jobs into the city and by nearly doubling the value of City contracts to minority-and women-owned firms. O'Malley has promoted job growth by attracting over $10 billion in economic development, nearly ended Baltimore’s decades long population loss, and home values are once again rising.
Mayor O'Malley also has managed to achieve national prominence as a leading voice for homeland security for the nation's cities. Since 2003, he has chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Homeland Security Task Force. In 2004, O'Malley was asked to address a primetime national audience at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. O'Malley used the opportunity to bring attention to the crises facing our nation's cities in addressing homeland security needs to defend against terrorism. “Sadly and unforgivably almost three years after that fateful day when thousands of moms and dads, sons and daughters didn't come from work on September 11th, America's cities and towns, America's ports and borders and America's heartland remain needlessly vulnerable.”
In 2004, O'Malley was elected to a second term as Mayor of Baltimore, receiving 88% of the vote. On November 7, 2006, he was elected Governor of Maryland with 52.7% of the vote, unseating the incumbent governor.
In addition to his current duties as Governor, Martin O'Malley is a member of the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and the Maryland African American Museum Corporation. O'Malley is a member of the Board of Visitors for the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical System and a Co-Chair of the Task Force on Federal-Local Law Enforcement of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Among the honors Martin O'Malley and his Administration have received include: the Urban Innovation Award from Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; the Innovations in American Government from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government; the Award for Public Service from the Center for Irish Programs of Boston College; the National Award for Local Arts Leadership from the U.S. Conference of Mayors; the National Association of Counties' Multicultural Diversity Award for extraordinary outreach to ethnic communities. O'Malley received an honorary degree from Villa Julie College. In 2002, Esquire Magazine named Martin “The Best Young Mayor in the Country” and in 2005, Time Magazine named him one of America's “Top 5 Big City Mayors.” In August 2005, Business Week listed O'Malley as one of "Five Fresh Faces" to lead the Democratic Party.
Martin and his wife Katie, a Maryland District Court Judge, have two daughters, Grace and Tara, and two sons, William and Jack. They are members of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
July 1, 2009
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