That was Stephanie Rawlings-Blake last December on occasion of becoming the latest mayor of a Baltimore City that had been surrendering residents since World War II. In a attempt at reversal, to regrow the Charm City’s population numbers (and not insignificantly, its tax base, too), Mayor Rawlings-Blake has in her brief tenure issued an attention-grabbing executive order relaxing the policing of immigration status meant to convince new arrivals to the United States that they’re wanted in Baltimore.

As an economic tactic, Baltimore’s bid to curry the favor of immigrants has a good deal weighing in its favor. Where you find growing U.S. cities, research shows, you tend to find a healthy helping of immigrants, too. New arrivals to the United States open up businesses at a greater rate than native-born Americans do, and immigrant entrepreneurs are especially plentiful in the tech and innovation fields in which Baltimore already has footing. Of course, though, it’s not quite as straightforward as simply adding new Americans to the urban mix and watching a city inexorably rebound. I have a look at why not in a new case study-style piece for Next American City, in partnership with the National League of Cities, called “The Rise of the New Baltimoreans.”

(Photo credit: Andy Cook via Next American City)