Bernard C. “Jack” Young, President of the City Council, was elected in 2011, garnering 83 percent of all votes in the citywide general election. He has made his mark in city government with a reputation for highly effective constituent service and a dedication to youth, seniors, education and public safety. Mr. Young has spent all of his time on the City Council aggressively representing the interests of the citizens of Baltimore.
Mr. Young’s service as City Council President began when he was unanimously elected on February 8, 2010 to fill the remaining term of former Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who is currently serving as Mayor.
In his nearly three years as the leader of Baltimore’s legislative body, Mr. Young has championed efforts to increase government transparency, fight for equitable housing opportunities, and bolster funding for education.
The President’s historic Transparency and Accountability Bill (TAB) mandated that the city televise proceedings from the Board of Estimates, Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals and Liquor Board, which represent three of the city’s most influential decision-making bodies. Live broadcasts of these meetings began in October 2012 after Mr. Young worked to secure funding for the vital project.
A native East Baltimorean, Mr. Young served as chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety and Health Committees from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Young, a 17-year veteran of the City Council, has played a major role in passing legislation that has increased funding for education, crime prevention and helped to spur economic development.
In 2010, Mr. Young introduced a charter amendment that created a City fund to help pay for new school construction; renovate existing city school buildings and athletic facilities; expand recreational activities; and modernize education-related equipment and curricula.
Furthering his dedication to the city’s youth, Mr. Young has left a lasting legacy with his Productive Lives, Active Youth campaign (also known as P.L.A.Y.). This innovative initiative provides Baltimore’s youth with a wide range of opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, develop leadership skills, learn from positive role models, and be rewarded for their academic achievements. P.L.A.Y. encourages them to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.
As part of the P.L.A.Y. campaign, Mr. Young introduced the President’s Cup tournament, a citywide baseball tournament that unites student athletes from different backgrounds. The annual tournament has been lauded by Major League Baseball and has raised more than $180,000 for field renovations in Baltimore City.
Mr. Young also played an instrumental role in turning the former American Brewery facility, located at Federal and Gay Streets, into the headquarters for Humanim, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides job training and clinical support for children and adults with developmental and behavioral disabilities. The project will bring more than 300 jobs to Baltimore.
A long proponent of mixed-use development, Mr. Young was among a team of city leaders who helped secure the Albemarle Square development at Exeter and Baltimore Streets. The development, which includes thousands of square feet of residential and retail office space, will provide additional jobs for City residents.
Mr. Young has been a steadfast champion of mixed-income communities that allow city residents, from all economic backgrounds, a chance at homeownership. With help from Council President Young, construction will begin in spring 2010 on the Barclay Neighborhood Redevelopment Project. The development will transform long-vacant houses into 322 affordable units.
Mr. Young got his start in politics as a former special assistant to then-City Council President Mary Pat Clarke. He has served on a number of boards, from the Task force to eliminate Illegal Billboards to the Johns Hopkins alcoholic and other Drug Dependency Advisory Board. Council President Young is the co-founder of the Broadway Development Organization. In 1995 Mr. Young established the Bernard C. Young Scholarship Award at Dunbar Senior High School.
Council President Young is a graduate of Baltimore’s Northern High School.