About Office of City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young
About City Council
The City Council is the City's legislative body, with the power to enact all ordinances and resolutions. City Council members are elected from fourteen districts, and the President is elected at-large, by all voters of the City. The fifteen City Council members, along with the Mayor, act only by ordinance, resolution or motion. They adopt and may alter the annual budget and confirm the Mayor's appointments. The City Council is responsible for the appropriation and issuance of bonds. The City Council determines its own rules of procedure, and its meetings are open to the public.
City Council members are elected every four years. They are elected to geographic districts of roughly the same proportion of population.
About City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Bernard C. “Jack” Young, President of the Baltimore City Council, was re-elected in 2016, garnering 76 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.
As a 21-year veteran of the City Council, Mr. Young has played a major role in passing legislation that has increased funding for education, crime prevention and helped to spur economic development.
In 2016, voters in Baltimore overwhelmingly approved Mr. Young’s charter amendment – Question E – that established a continuing, non-lapsing Children and Youth Fund to be used exclusively to provide supplemental funding to services for children and youth. The fund, a first-of-its-kind initiative for Baltimore, and one of the few dedicated youth funds in the country, established an annual multi-million dollar pot of money for youth-focused, grassroots organizations in Baltimore.
The Fund is currently undergoing an extensive process that’s needed to establish the grant-making criteria and organizational structure that will sustain it well into the future. The Council President’s Youth Fund, once online, will become Baltimore fourth largest grantmaking organization. The first awards are expected to be awarded in late 2018.
A native East Baltimorean, Mr. Young’s service on the City Council began in 1996 when he was first elected to represent the old 2nd Council District in East Baltimore. Mr. Young served as chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety and Health Committees. He served in these roles until 2010 when he was unanimously elected to fill the remaining term of former Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
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 broadcast 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.
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.
A long proponent of affordable housing and mixed-use development, Mr. Young has been a steadfast champion of diverse communities that allow city residents, from all economic backgrounds, a chance at homeownership. Mr. Young believes neighborhood development is the key to increasing Baltimore’s population, decreasing vacant homes, and improving its local economy. In all Mr. Young has pushed to develop over 80 affordable housing projects in neighborhoods all across the city during his tenure as Council President.
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 and commissions, from the state’s Commission Regarding the Implementation & Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers 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.