BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hosting a major conference for hundreds of mayors from around the nation is a first for Baltimore.

Gigi Barnett explains their weekend in Charm City was a mix of work and play.

For a small group of the nation’s top mayors, Father’s Day began with a little sweat led by Baltimore Ravens linbacker Ray Lewis.  It’s the kind of star treatment these city officials have seen over the last few days as Baltimore hosts the 79th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“I love the city of Baltimore and this is just another addition to making this so special of a convention,” said Jim Schmitt, mayor of Green Bay, Wis.

After the workout, there was a Father’s Day breakfast with family.

While fun surrounds the conference, there has been some hard work, too.  The mayors discussed and debated a slew of tough topics facing the nation.

“It’s jobs, crime, housing, those issues that impact our cities the most,” said John Dickert, mayor of Racine, Wis.  “Really, we’re all dealing with the same issues.”

The mayors must represent cities with populations of 30,000 or more.  In the United States, that’s about 1,200 cities.  This is the first time the conference has ever been to Baltimore.

“I really wanted a way to showcase the city for the nation and this has been just that showcase,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

There are about 200 mayors in town this weekend.  That’s about a 30 percent boost in the number of mayors who attended last year’s conference in Oklahoma City.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors ends Monday.


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