Some days are tough, humiliating even, but everyone needs to carry on, Hallie Jackson, the chief White House correspondent for NBC News, told a full room of business, government and civic leaders at the Greater Baltimore Committee's 63rd annual meeting.
"Come from a place of yes and make it work," said Jackson, using challenges from her career as a guidepost for Baltimore, which she said has had its share of hardship. "Always find the right people to guide you."
Jackson's examination of her path to Washington and often tense interactions with elected officials came as the GBC unveiled a report that takes an up-close look at the region's economic climate and quality of life.
The report looked at the past two decades, and the results were mixed. The region's economy is far more diverse, educational attainment is up and incomes are rising, but home ownership is down and commute times and crime are up.
Others during the evening highlighted the positive. Mayor Catherine Pugh pointed to the role of the private sector in improving the quality of life and economy faster in the region. She said there are good signs in the city, including new investments in crime reduction, youth jobs, downtown housing and economic development.
"We can change our city," she said. "It's our partnership with the private sector that will make it happen sooner."
During the evening, officials including Paul Tiburzi, senior partner at DLA Piper and GBC board chair, touted the power of being positive, including about the city's image. He called on attendees to "be a leader of and cheerleader for" the region and state.
To that end, he called for keeping the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and investing in a new arena, transportation infrastructure and business start-ups.
During the event, the group also honored the CollegeBound Foundation, which helps disadvantaged kids go to college, and Michael Hankin, president and CEO of Brown Advisory.