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Stephanie M. Smith
Maryland State Delegate D-Baltimore City,
Assistant Director, Equity, Engagement & Communications Baltimore City Department of Planning

smith-stephanieDel. Stephanie M. Smith has been a legislative champion for historic preservation and a voice for revitalization for Baltimore city. As the assistant director of equity, engagement and communications for the Baltimore City Department of Planning, she serves as the first-ever equity officer for the city and works to achieve structural, procedural, distributional, and transgenerational equity.

During the 2020 legislative session, Smith sponsored and helped to successfully pass the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2020. A provision of the legislation allows for large commercial tax credits to be transferred, permitting funds to go toward the projects themselves and not to transactional costs.

As an equity officer, Smith looks to see what historic advantages or disadvantages have affected residents in a given community; if residents who have been historically excluded from the planning process are authentically being included in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the proposed project; whether the distribution of civic resources and investment account for potential racially disparate outcomes; and whether the policy or project results in unfair burdens on future generations.

Smith oversees the Department’s Baltimore Planning Academy, a free six-week course for citizens. The curriculum covers such topics as the basics of land use and zoning systems. Alumni of the academy have successfully gotten the first Black Arts District in the state approved; have been appointed to the Baltimore Planning Commission; have had their neighborhood plans and installations of community art approved; and launched a tiny-house initiative to combat housing unaffordability.

Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, a master’s in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware and a Juris Doctor from Howard University. She is an active member of the Greater Baltimore Urban League and the Greater Baltimore Leadership Association.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2020 Excellence in Construction & Real Estate awards.