HOUSTON – (By Michelle Leigh Smith) – Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, mentioned as a possible candidate for president in 2020, was in Houston Wednesday offering Houstonians a close-up look at data-enhanced governing with a network of cities and universities.
O’Malley spoke Wednesday night at the Kinder Institute Urban Research Forum in the Brown Auditorium of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
O’Malley, 54, a Democrat who was in the field challenging Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders for his party’s nomination last year, has been named as a possible candidate in 2020.
When he touched on the topic of announcing another presidential run during his comments in Houston, O’Malley said: “Not just yet, but I’m keeping an open mind and open heart.”
These days, O’Malley, a self-described recovering lawyer, is teaching a law school class on Leadership and Data-Driven Government at Boston College and working with the Kinder Institute on a cross-disciplinary multi-level platform called Metro Lab Network. O’Malley made his mark cutting crime and improving public safety in Baltimore using geographic information systems (GIS) data and other urban data platforms.
“Anything I’ve learned about government, I’ve learned when I was mayor of Baltimore,” he said. That tenure lasted from 1999 to 2007. He then served as the 61st governor of Maryland between 2007-2015 before his 2016 presidential run.
One of his first actions as governor was to implement the same CitiStat system he used to manage Baltimore. CitiStat received the “Innovations in Government” award by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
“Cities can act as tremendous test beds,” he said and described successes not only in Baltimore but also in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and now Houston. Rice University and the city of Houston have joined forces with 20 other cities and 25 other universities from across the country to create MetroLab Network, a network of universities and city governments charged with collaborating on solutions to the challenges confronting urban infrastructure, city services and civic engagement.
O’Malley advocates using GIS data to determine where best to dedicate resources for public safety, water conservation and “what bridges are needed and what bridges need to be built in order to give our kids a brighter future.”
“I’ve been asked to go deep with this crowd, so I have 492 slides that I’ve narrowed to 60,” O’Malley told the Kinder forum.
He opened his remarks about how human history is shaped with a beloved quote from Robert F. Kennedy: “Each time a man stands up for others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”
“We can calculate how many tiny ripples it takes to add up to waves of change,” said O’Malley.
As the Democratic Party navigates toward the future, a choice will be made soon for a new party leadership. O’Malley said he has endorsed Pete Buttigieg, the 35-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Buttigieg is a Harvard University-educated U.S. Navy Reserve officer and a Rhodes Scholar. Buttigieg was elected mayor in 2012 at age 30, one of the youngest mayors in the nation.
Feb. 16, 2017 Realty News Report Copyright 2017