Baltimore boosters have launched a website called “We Are Baltimore” that they say will emphasize positive news about the city after President Donald Trump derided the municipality as a “rat and rodent infested mess.”
The site ― wearebaltimore.com ― was in the works for a post-Labor Day launch before the Republican president took to Twitter to insult Congressman Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, and his district. But when the hashtag #wearebaltimore started to trend on Twitter in response to Trump’s attacks, the site’s founders decided to make it live early.
“The public is desperate for something like this,” said co-founder Michael Cryor, who helped lead former Mayor Martin O’Malley’s “Believe” campaign. “They can look forward to a site that provides an alternative to the negative perception of Baltimore.”
Cryor, who led Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s short-lived “One Baltimore” campaign after the unrest of 2015, is co-founding the site with Todd Marks, the CEO of Batimore tech firm Mindgrub, and Greg Tucker, a communications consultant who worked for former Mayor Catherine Pugh.
When fully operational, the site will contain both original and aggregated articles that cast Baltimore in a positive light, the men said. Users will be able to vote articles up or down, similar to the site Reddit. At the end of each month, the most popular content will be featured in out-of-town marketing effort, they said.
Maryland Policy & Politics
“This is not something that is going to operate on a shoestring budget,” Tucker said.
The men said they want to emphasize the city’s world-class hospitals and universities; new businesses and restaurants; major league sports teams; museums; and music scene.
“Our City, Our Baltimore — known for its irresistible charm — is so much more than sad news that lands hard and travels fast in every place. Baltimore is more than its struggles; and we are more than alright,” the site states.
On Saturday and Sunday, Trump elicited anger from many Baltimore residents when he tweeted repeated insults against Cummings ― including calling him a racist ― and his district, which contains part of the city and suburban areas.
Cummings has been a vocal critic of Trump’s border and immigration policies.
Cryor said he wants to counteract “negative portrayals of people of color” with “positive messaging and storytelling.”
“We want people to know there is an organized effort coming to counteract this,” he said.