September 19, 2023
Last week, the Department of Juvenile Services released a report breaking down a decade of statewide data on youth crime. The report revealed that offenses committed by young people make up a small portion of all crimes statewide, and crimes committed by young people, although rising, are still down from pre-pandemic levels. However, the report confirms that gun violence against children and teens has risen starkly—with a four-fold increase in juveniles being non-fatally shot over the past decade, mostly among people of color.
As the mass shooting in Brooklyn and other gun-related incidents across the City demonstrates, addressing the unacceptable level of crime in Baltimore is of the utmost importance. No one should feel unsafe in their neighborhood, and yet this is far too often the reality for residents across our communities.

It is essential that our criminal justice system treat children and youth fairly and in a developmentally appropriate manner; however, there must be consequences for those who commit acts of violence. During the 2022 Legislative Session, the General Assembly passed a comprehensive package of reforms to update the juvenile justice system. As these laws are implemented, unintended consequences are becoming apparent and demonstrating a need to refine those laws.
During the upcoming 2024 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly will consider changes to juvenile justice laws to ensure our intent from the 2022 session is realized. Young people who commit these actions must not be allowed to continue to do so, and they must receive comprehensive rehabilitative support that provides incentives and opportunities for them to change the trajectory of their lives.
Maryland Serves Receives 500 Applicants
Since first introducing legislation to establish Maryland Corps in 2016, one of my primary objectives in the legislature has been to expand opportunities for Marylanders to participate in a service year. As an AmeriCorps alumnus, I know the power that service has to bring people together while working towards a shared goal of bettering their community.

I’m thrilled that over 500 Marylanders from every region of the state have applied for the newly created State service corps, created through the Serving Every Region through Vocational Exploration (SERVE) Act, passed last year by the General Assembly. More than 100 organizations – including State and local governments, nonprofits, schools, and for-profit companies – have expressed interest in having program participants at their locations.

Those selected for the program will earn $15 an hour serving at a host organization for at least 30 hours per week. The program provides professional development and career coaching, as well as $6,000 upon successful completion as a stipend or to be put towards future education costs. Climate, education, and information technology are all listed as potential sectors for members’ service.
Grant for O'Donnell Heights Boys and Girls Club
Last week, I was thrilled to celebrate the exciting work underway at the Boys and Girls Club in O'Donnell Height, thanks to a nearly $100,000 Community Safety Work grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The newly revamped club will have a new side patio area installed, new signage, a wall mural and new lighting. 

This investment will help provide an environment in which young people can feel like they're in a place where they can be proud, creative, and part of a community. As we work to improve outcomes around juvenile justice and increase public safety, providing young people with recreational outlets is one critical component of that effort.

This project is part of a multi-million-dollar State investment in community safety provided to organizations across the State. More than 150 Maryland nonprofits, business districts, local governments, and neighborhood associations will receive nearly $10 million in grants. More than $2.6 million is going toward projects in the 46th Legislative District ranging from pedestrian safety enhancements to increased camera coverage of key areas. 
Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force Gets to Work
The Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force, created by legislation the Maryland General Assembly passed last session, is beginning to hold public meetings. Those hearings are an effort to discuss addressing the City’s pressing water-related challenges and fostering sustainable solutions to help ensure residents receive high-quality water and sewerage services efficiently, equitably, and sustainably. The following meetings will be open to the public:

Wednesday, October 4
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center, 201 Reedbird Ave, Baltimore, MD 21225

Wednesday, October 18
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: CCBC Essex, Robert and Eleanor Romadka College Center, Upper-level Lobby, 7201 Rossville Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21237

Wednesday, November 1
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries, 6000 Radecke Ave, Baltimore, MD 21206

Thursday, November 16
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Virtual - additional details forthcoming

Thursday, January 25, 2024
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Virtual - additional details forthcoming
Port Discovery Receives Federal Security Grant
Thanks to Maryland’s Congressional Delegation, Port Discovery was awarded $150,000 as part of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program last week. This year, the grant program will provide funding for 118 Maryland houses of worship and nonprofit organizations. I am deeply appreciative of the work of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation to secure these much-needed funds for our community.

The $15.9 million program is underwritten by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA and is administered locally by the Maryland Department of Emergency Management. It aims to provide critical support to nonprofit organizations to make spaces safer, secure, and more resilient.
More News
After three years, Artscape is back this weekend for its 38th year. The beloved Baltimore arts festival is where art lovers, families, and tourists come together to celebrate art, culture, and performance! Artscape is proud to showcase artists, live concerts, visual arts experiences, performing arts, fashion designers, kid-focused activities, film, experimental music, improv and comedy, literary arts programming, and culinary delights. I hope to see you there!

Ride free to Artscape or anywhere else you want in the City this weekend! In honor of World Car Free Day on September 22, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) won’t charge for rides on local and commuter buses, Metro SubwayLink, light rail, MARC trains, and MobilityLink van service for the entire weekend. 

United States Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, will headline The Baltimore Banner’s new annual event, iMPACT Maryland on October 10. The event will bring together State and local leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to discuss major policies and issues affecting the region. Tickets are now available for the daylong event.

Join me on September 21 at 4:00 p.m. for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the designation of the Canton Railroad Transfer Bridge as a Baltimore City Historic Landmark. Mayor Scott signed a bill into law this June declaring the site an official historic landmark.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration is urging Marylanders to get informed on the warning signs of suicide and share resources such as the Connecting to Hope Toolkit to better inform others. Over the past 5 years, more than 3,000 Marylanders died by suicide. In an effort to save lives, the Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention released “Connecting to Hope,” a suicide prevention awareness “toolkit.”

Live Baltimore has announced a new marketing campaign to highlight and promote all the good things happening in our community. The campaign, City People 2024, can be seen on their YouTube Channel here.
If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email,, or by phone, 410-841-3600.