I'm writing in response to the article headed "17 CEO's join to advocate for Md.-D.C.-Richmond region" (Dec. 14).

The article describes an effort to promote the "Greater Washington" region, described as ranging from Richmond to Baltimore. Participating leaders are attempting to increase the visibility of this area for attracting businesses, improving the infrastructure, workforce development, and overall global identity.


While the goals of such an effort are worthy, it is hard to see where the city of Baltimore actually benefits from this endeavor. In fact, the only real mention of Baltimore is its inclusion as a northern boundary of the region and the statement that Baltimore isn't being slighted by not being included in the regional name.

Decades ago, Baltimore had a population in excess of 900,000. It now struggles to stay above 600,000. Washington, D.C.'s population now has passed the population of Baltimore. The city of Washington has many benefits that only it can have. These benefits include the wealth of politicians, lobbyists, and media who have located to the D.C. area. Additionally, as the nation's capital, the city has federal financial support that is not available to Baltimore and other cities.

Baltimore was and has great potential to be a major city. It has long been recognized for the Inner Harbor. In more recent time Baltimore has received recognition as a leader in the arts. Baltimore has the potential for growth and employment. The port has revived. The Port Covington project offers untold potential for growth.

Yet the identity of Baltimore vanishes in the promotion of Washington, D.C.. Why do the leaders of Maryland and Baltimore continue to accept a back seat in a regional development project?

If Baltimore is to revive and grow, it must promote itself. D.C. doesn't need the regional promotion. If Baltimore doesn't take such an initiative, it will continue to vanish in the eyes of potential entrepreneurs and those business people will look to D.C. or other areas for business development. The result will be that a once major city will be nothing more than a poor suburb and a boundary point of the "Washington Region."

If you don't think this issue of visibility matters, take notice of the maps shown on national news shows. Do you see the city of Baltimore or the state of Maryland, or do you see Washington, D.C. spread over the Maryland and Baltimore area? In most cases the city and state have vanished from national view.

So, I ask. Who is really getting the benefit of "global identity"?

Rick Schimpf, Pasadena