Patrick Gutierrez is one of the 13 announced candidates for Mayor of Baltimore City. (Courtesy photo)
In November, when former bank executive and sports writer Patrick Gutierrez filed the paperwork necessary to enter the Baltimore City mayor’s race, he became the 13th candidate to do so.
He’s still a relative unknown, especially compared to more established names like former Mayor Sheila Dixon, State Senator Catherine E. Pugh and City Councilmen Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes, but the former Bank of America operations manager said he has what it takes to get the city on the right track.
“I’d been thinking about it for a long time,” he said about his run. “Seeing the dysfunction in city government and knowing my background as an operations manager was specifically to go in and address the same problems that city government has. You know, there’s no accountability anywhere, there’s no transparency, the communication is poor and when you have those things you get the results that we’re getting.”
“In my career, my job was to go in and fix those things. I went all around the country and everywhere I went it was the same situations: poor leadership at the top and that just kind of filters down into every area. When I saw that I had these tools that could help address many of these problems, I really started considering actually running and doing something about it.”
Gutierrez is from southern California. He said that his position with Bank of America took him all over the country, fixing problems and helping business run more smoothly. But when the company sent him to Baltimore, he decided to stay.
“I fell in love with the city. I mean, people here just welcomed me,” he said. “And being a big sports fan, I felt right at home here.”
When the company wanted him to leave the city to work for them elsewhere, he opted instead to leave the company. He enrolled at the University of Maryland to study journalism and later worked as a sportswriter for “The Baltimore Sun.”
His most recent position was with local nonprofit group The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance. The group works to keep families in the city, instead of making a retreat for the neighboring suburbs
“A lot of times families, especially around here, as soon as they have kids they feel like they have to move away from the city for safer neighborhoods and better schools and that’s a problem because we lose a lot of good families that can really help the city grow,” Gutierrez said.
On his website, Gutierrez outlines some of his ideas for what he’d accomplish once in office. One of those is his E3 formula – to educate, employ and engage all city residents. He also outlines his five steps to a better Baltimore police department – which includes what he calls a more streamlined way for citizens to lodge complaints and track their progress and an improved civilian review board.
He said he’d also like to start educating children in the city from birth – well before they step foot in a kindergarten classroom.
“Why wait until they’re five years old when 75 percent of their brain has already been formed before you start trying to tackle these issues?”
“It’s not like I have a patent on this kind of leadership. It goes on all over the place successfully. It just doesn’t go on in Baltimore City government,” he said.
In addition to running his campaign, Gutierrez is primary caretaker for his daughters Alivia and Estelle. He and his wife live in Taylor Heights.
He said he’s undaunted by the large field of potential mayoral candidates.
“I don’t worry about any other candidates or any other platforms, I just put my best foot forward in the best way I know how.”