Center Maryland: One Year Later

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A year ago, a group of us came together to launch Center Maryland.

At the time, we promised a 501(c)(3) nonprofit media outlet that would highlight issues of real importance to job creation and economic growth in Maryland – with straight-down-the-middle reporting by professional journalists. We also promised to add a centrist, pro-business voice to our state’s public debate through opinion pieces by creating a platform to advance reasonable and responsible ideas from thought leaders.

In announcing our launch, we noted that all of us involved with Center Maryland have deep Maryland experience in government, business and media. We observed that what drives us is fairly simple:

• We believe that ideology is no substitute for evidence or experience.
• Political expedience should not trump common sense.
• Maryland's citizens are intelligent - if given accurate information, they will support elected officials in making good decisions.

After a year of working on Center Maryland and hearing lots of feedback from all circles, we think that those important philosophical pillars still ring true.

Today, we come back to you, our readers, with a quick recap of some of the highlights of what we think we accomplished in our first year:

• Josh Kurtz has created a must-read weekly political column (Remember how Josh was the first to say that Ehrlich would pick Mary Kane as his running mate).
• The Center Maryland/OpinionWorks poll was the first to clearly show that Governor O’Malley was pulling away from former Governor Ehrlich.
• The Greater Baltimore Committee’s Donald Fry regularly lays out his vision each week for how our state and local governments and business leaders can work together to ensure that Maryland keeps making progress.
• Our efforts to highlight problems with Maryland’s new storm-water legislation helped push the state to find a common-sense compromise that everyone could live with.
• Through the storm-water debate, as well as on other major issues, Center Maryland has become a place to share opinions, with groups as diverse as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Builders exchanging original op-ed pieces.
• A wide range of thought-leaders from across the state, such as Clayton A. Mitchell Sr. of the Eastern Shore, have chosen Center Maryland as the forum to offer ideas to improve Maryland.
• Center Maryland proudly joined KIPP: Baltimore as a media sponsor of the sold-out Baltimore advance screening of "Waiting for Superman."
• Our daily news aggregation has become the first email that many thought-leaders open each morning to get a sense of Maryland news.

For many of our readers, that last point has been the most important. When we launched Center Maryland, we promised that our website and daily email would provide the most comprehensive aggregation of media sources in Maryland - drawing on content from the state's newspapers, television stations, radio stations and online sources - to provide all "The News You Need" to readers in business, government, politics and the media. On that point, we believe we have delivered.

Are there areas where Center Maryland has fallen short of our original goals? Of course. As a non-profit operated in our spare time, all of us would love to have more money and more time to devote to this project. But a year into this project, we are proud of what we have accomplished so far.

We look forward to moving forward in 2011, and encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas. We continue to welcome original commentaries on the issues of the day, too. And if you have friends or colleagues who you think would enjoy receiving the daily Center Maryland email, please forward it to them, and we would be happy to add their email addresses to the thousands who are already on the list.

Some of our readers have asked how they can help us continue what we’re doing at Center Maryland. The quick answer is contributions and sponsorships. Like it or not, non-profits rely on money to keep themselves going. No matter how much of our own time we put into Center Maryland, we still need the resources to pay reporters, to pay for our email service, to pay for the team that aggregates the news each morning starting at 5 a.m. As you’re thinking about the news sources you rely on each day, we hope that you or your company will consider a charitable contribution to Center Maryland. Contact us at to learn more.

Maryland makes progress when we come together to work in the center. Center Maryland's objective is to help us get there.

Thank you for joining us each morning. We look forward to an exciting second year.

Steve Kearney - Martin Knott - Damian O'Doherty - Tom Loveland - Howard Libit
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Maryland’s leading source of aggregated and original news and opinion on government, politics, business and more. Called one of the “nation’s best state-based political blogs” by the Washington Post.