Donald Norris, Public Policy, in the Baltimore Sun

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon will kick off the Associated Black Charities’ speaker series next month, sparking speculation of a possible return to politics. “This is the year I’m going to decide,” Dixon told the Baltimore Sun, of her desire to run for office again after having completed probation following her 2009 embezzlement conviction. “I’m not going to hide the fact that I enjoyed what I was doing during my 27 years in public office.”

Donald NorrisDonald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC, told the Sun that the substance of Dixon’s talk might signal, more definitively, her interest in returning to elective politics. “I would be listening for some indication that she is repentant for what happened,” Norris said, “and recognition that she’d made some mistakes.”

Although Dixon still has some supporters in Baltimore, Norris noted that if the city’s voters were to return Dixon to public office, “It would say to the outside world that a corrupt elected official can spend a little time away and get re-elected.” He concluded, “That’s not an image Baltimore wants, or that any city needs.”

Claudio Galindo, LLC, Recognized by Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake

Claudio Galindo of UMBC’s Language, Literacy, and Culture Ph. D. program was recently recognized by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for her work within the Latino community of the city and state, according to a statement from the regional community organization CASA de Maryland.

The mayor’s statement came as part of the city’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Speaking on Dr. Galindo, Rawlings-Blake said that “when President Obama announced his program to allow immigrant students for deferred action and work authorization in the United States this past summer, Claudia was one of the first to volunteer to assist with the process. Since the first community DACA clinic at CASA de MD on August 16, Dr. Claudia Galindo has volunteered over 50 hours helping students fill out applications, and reviewing supporting documents”.

The UMBC community commends Dr. Galindo on her important work with the Latino community of Maryland, and wishes her well in her future endeavors with CASA de Maryland.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in The Urbanite

This month’s Urbanite cover story “El Nuevo Baltimore” begins with a compelling premise: “Baltimore’s burgeoning Hispanic community could be a force for broader change—but only if we can make them welcome here.” In the extensive piece, Donald Norris, chair of public policy at UMBC, explains why the economic impact of Latino Baltimore residents has so far been limited, despite robust population growth.

Norris suggests that currently “there is only so much in the form of gentrification that they can do,” given that many Latinos who move to the US are working class and “here for the economic opportunity.” The article notes that Baltimore’s Latino population currently has a median household income of $37,868, versus $54,514 for white residents.

Dennis Coates, Economics, in the News

Car of Will Power, Winner of the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix

The economic impact of the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix was “vastly smaller than the projections by the events promoter,” UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates asserts in a newly released study (pdf), coauthoed with Michael Friedman of the University of Maryland. They estimate attendee spending as closer to $25 million than the anticipated $70 million and argue, “The bottom line is that the Baltimore Grand Prix was not a game changing event.”

After appearing on the front page of the Baltimore Sun and in the Baltimore Business Journal, the story was picked up by AP and printed in the Washington Post. Additional coverage included interviews with Dennis Coates on ABC2, Fox45 and WBAL Channel 11.