Baltimore’s chief executive has lately become something of a “frequent flier,” trekking off to Nevada, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York – and this weekend to Louisiana – for conferences, seminars and fundraising events that are shaping her as a rising star in national politics.
While we do not have a full accounting of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s recent trips outside of Maryland – her press office keeps her travel schedule under wraps – expense account receipts to the Board of Estimates indicate that she has traveled to at least a half dozen states in the last nine months.
These include a three-day visit to Chicago (where she met with First Lady Michelle Obama and others at a healthy food summit); Aspen, Colorado (where she participated in an Aspen Institute seminar); Boston (where she attended a class at Harvard University); Las Vegas (where she mixed with real estate moguls at the International Conference of Shopping Centers); New York City (where she appeared on a “Mayors Roundtable” with PBS host Charlie Rose); and Orlando, Fla. (where she promoted citizenship for immigrants and cancer prevention for women at the U.S. Conference of Mayors).
This Saturday it’s New Orleans, where she will be a special guest at the Louisiana Democratic Party’s 2012 Jefferson Jackson Dinner. Tickets for the event at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans will range from $150 for individual donors to $5,000 for a platinum table.
She will not be the only Free State official in attendance.
Her longtime political benefactor, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, is keynote speaker of the event.
O’Malley is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and recently set up a political action committee (PAC) with the Federal Elections Commission, which is considered a prelude to politicians seeking national office.
Saturday’s event will showcase young African-American mayors, including Newark, N.J.’s Mayor Cory Booker and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in addition to Rawlings-Blake.
While Rawlings-Blake’s guest appearance is on the Democratic Party’s website, confirmation of her trip was not being provided by her press office today, which also did not respond to a question of whether the mayor would be traveling with the O’Malley party.