Baltimore Mayor Jack Young | WYPR

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young

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Baltimore’s health commissioner Letitia Dzirasa is urging residents to stay vigilant against COVID-19 with masks and social distancing, but also to protect themselves from the flu. 

At the mayor’s weekly briefing Wednesday morning, Dzirasa said that while the city’s positivity rate continues to decline, the daily count of new cases is 35% higher than last month’s. 

“We are here to remind people to continue to seek COVID testing at one of our mobile testing sites or at a clinical site,” she said. 

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On what is still officially Columbus Day in Baltimore, members of the city’s indiginous community rallied in the rain Monday afternoon calling for the renaming of the holiday.

The event was also a celebration of indigenous peoples’ culture, full of music, dancing and prayer. 

Led by Indigenous Strong, the rally came a week after the City Council passed a bill that would rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But Mayor Jack Young has not signed the bill into law. 

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Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced a $2 million grant fund for small businesses today. The fund aims to help businesses reopen safely and recover from the pandemic.

“Baltimore small businesses have been agile in their response to COVID-19. And we must not relent our efforts to assist our small businesses during this time,” Young said. 

The Daily Dose 9-4-20

Sep 4, 2020
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As we head into Labor Day weekend, Maryland is now in phase three of Governor Hogan’s COVID-19 reopening plan. But what businesses and venues are open and how many people are allowed to gather depends on where you live. And the CDC said this week that they expect a vaccine to be distributed to medical professionals by the first half of November, but will it be safe? And how will it coincide with the start of flu season?

The Office of the Mayor

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approved Wednesday a $30 million rental assistance package aimed at staving off an eviction crisis.

The move came two days after courts in Maryland began hearing eviction cases and the day after the Centers for Disease Control issued a national moratorium on evictions.

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Housing advocates want to know why Baltimore Mayor Jack Young fired the city’s housing commissioner Michael Braverman last week as renters will soon face a mass eviction crisis. 

“We are here to demand that Mayor Jack Young speaks to the city,” John P. Comer, founder of Architects for Justice, said at a press conference Wednesday morning in front of City Hall. “The concerned citizens who are renting every day and may not know where their next home will be.”

Courts will resume hearing new eviction cases for failure to pay rent on Aug. 31. Comer said homelessness is likely to skyrocket. 

 

“People are losing their homes and evictions are becoming backed up,” he said. 

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Baltimore Mayor Jack Young is calling on city residents to respond to the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau announced last week that counting efforts will end on Sept. 30, four weeks earlier than originally planned.

“This is something each of us can do to help the future of our city. It only takes 10 minutes, but it's that important,” Young said at a press conference Wednesday morning. 

Young said responding to the census is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. For each person not counted, the city loses $18,000 of federal funding for various services over the course of 10 years, he said.

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At least two people died and at least seven were critically injured after a gas explosion in Northwest Baltimore that destroyed three homes Monday morning. 

The explosion, which occurred near Labyrinth and Reisterstown roads shortly before 10 a.m., damaged surrounding homes. More than 200 rescue personnel from Baltimore City and surrounding counties were on the scene through the evening, searching for victims trapped in the rubble. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

 

The Daily Dose 7-28-20

Jul 28, 2020
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Police-reform legislation goes before the Baltimore County Council. Housing relief applications are due this week, and there are growing calls for Governor Hogan to stave off mass evictions. And Baltimore Mayor Jack Young rules on two pressing charter amendments.

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More than 5,500 households have begun or completed applications for Baltimore City’s $13 million rental assistance program, according to Tammy Hawley, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Housing.

Applications for the program, which aims to prevent mass evictions by paying April, May and June rent for renters who have lost income due to COVID-19, were due at 7 p.m. Sunday. The payments go directly to landlords. 

The department sought to help at least 6,000 households and may have leftover funds. 

Mary Rose Madden

In the midst of Baltimore's sweltering summer heat, the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks offers some relief.

Five city pools open on July 13: Cherry Hill Splash, Clifton Park, Patterson Park, Riverside, and Roosevelt Park. Five more will open July 20. But, Reggie Moore, the director of the city's Recreation and Parks said, there will be some restrictions.

“Starting July 6th, you can start registering for a time slot to swim in our pools,” Moore said. The time slots will be in “hour and half hour increments.”

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Mayor Jack Young announced Thursday morning a partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical Center and BUILD to increase mobile on-demand testing across the city. The city will begin opening the new testing sites next week. 

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Baltimore community members and grassroots organizers gathered in front of City Hall Thursday afternoon to demand that the city and state do more to protect tenants and those experiencing homelessness. 

Speakers included residents who spoke of their experiences living in local homeless shelters amid the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic). They also read original poems and presented artwork. 

 

Mayor Jack Young launched a $13 million pandemic rental assistance program on Wednesday, and Gov. Larry Hogan announced a $30 million fund to prevent evictions last Friday. But advocates say that this is not enough.

Baltimore City has cancelled its annual Fourth of July fireworks this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It pained me to cancel a tradition that has been a staple for decades in Baltimore City,” Mayor Jack Young said at a press conference Thursday. 

But Young said that the police will be on the lookout for illegal fireworks. City officials have been hearing complaints about illegal fireworks at night for weeks. 

The Daily Dose 7-2-20

Jul 2, 2020
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More than 400 million dollars have been cut from Maryland’s budget, and state officials say the fiscal crisis won’t end until the pandemic does. The Maryland Food Bank has received record-breaking donations at a moment of unprecedented demand. And Baltimore City announces pools will reopen, but not in time for the long holiday weekend.

The Office of the Mayor

Incumbent Mayor Jack Young represented a Northeast Baltimore District on the City Council for 14 years before becoming City Council president in 2010.

He became mayor in May 2019 after Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned in the fall-out from the 'Healthy Holly' scandal. He placed last in the most recent WYPR, Baltimore Sun, University of Baltimore poll with only 5%.

 

Speaking with Midday host Tom Hall in May, Young emphasized his ability to collaborate with partners to produce results.

 

“That's what I've done my whole career is work in partnership and trying to get a win-win out of everything that I've done since I’ve been on city council and as mayor, and I’ve been able to do that.” 

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home order will lift Friday at 5 p.m., allowing some businesses to open. But many restrictions will remain in place, and the rules will vary county by county. 

AP

State health officials have confirmed Maryland’s first cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 affecting three residents of Montgomery County. 

The three were infected during an international cruise. Officials have not specified where that was, citing privacy reasons. But Dr. Travis Gayles, the chief health officer for Montgomery County, said in a news conference Friday the cruise was “not affiliated with Baltimore.”

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers began work Monday on a highly anticipated package of sweeping education reforms that reflects recommendations by the Kirwan Commission. Hundreds of teachers, activists and local government officials came to Annapolis to testify or show their support for the bill.

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T.J. Smith, a former Baltimore Police Department spokesman, formally announced his run for mayor on Tuesday.

The Democrat made the announcement on the 1400 block of Argyle Avenue, the same street where his younger brother Dionay was murdered in the summer of 2017. 

Surrounded by other families who lost loved ones to violence, Smith said the city needs fresh leadership to drive meaningful change.

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Mayor Jack Young signed an executive order on Friday that bans the use of gag orders in “unreasonable” city settlements, a move that an ACLU lawyer called a “complete sham that accomplishes precisely nothing.”

David Rocah, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Maryland, said the order was meant to distract from a city council bill that would permanently end the practice. 

Baltimore County Government

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski recently got together over a table of steamed crabs to look for ways the city and county can work together. The two leaders are expected to make announcements soon on issues ranging from public safety to transportation.