By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun
2:40 PM EST, January 7, 2013
Kim Washington, Baltimore's chief lobbyist, will leave her post early in the coming General Assembly session, city officials announced Monday.
Washington, a lifelong friend of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, will take a post in the city's housing department, where she had worked previously.
Del. Curt Anderson, head of the city's House delegation in Annapolis, said Washington informed him over the weekend that she would be leaving in early February. Washington had worked closely with legislators over the past month to craft the city's priorities in the session that begins Wednesday, he said.
Anderson credited Washington with establishing many of the city's legislative priorities, including increased funding to overhaul dilapidated school buildings.
Washington is the latest high-profile offical to depart from the Rawlings-Blake administration. Over the past 12 months, a bevy of top advisors have left, including a chief of staff, a deputy mayor, Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and a recreation and parks director.
Rawlings-Blake praised Washington in a statement as a "dedicated and talented public servant who brings a wealth of knowledge, acumen and experience."
Washington will become chief of staff to Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano on Feb, 4, according to a news release. A native Baltimorean and a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Washington worked for the housing department from 2003 to 2007.
She served as Rawlings-Blake's chief of staff when she was City Council President and has been a top advisor since Rawlings-Blake became mayor in 2010. She served as a deputy mayor and, after Rawlings-Blake abolished the "deputy mayor" title last year, Deputy Chief of Government Relations and Community Affairs.
Washington and Rawlings-Blake have been close friends since they met in kindergarten at Grace and St. Peter's School.
"I'm grateful to Mayor Rawlings-Blake for the opportunity to serve with her for many years, including her transition," Washington said in a statement. "In three years, we created a record of reform and change that is preparing Baltimore for years of growth."
Washington declined to comment further.
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