Jack's Journal: Vol. 8, Issue 12Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Council President stands by federally-mandated police reforms in Baltimore
The recent actions by the U.S. Department of Justice stand in stark contrast to the will of the people of Baltimore.
On Monday, April 3, DOJ filed a motion to postpone a Public Fairness Hearing that’s scheduled for Thursday at the federal courthouse in Baltimore City.
The hearing was designed to give the citizens of Baltimore a formal opportunity to weigh in on continued efforts to reform our police department.
It’s a process that began two years ago when I personally requested, along with others, that DOJ conduct a full-scale civil rights investigation into the patterns and practices of the police department.
U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, the federal judge overseeing the consent decree between the DOJ, City of Baltimore and Baltimore Police Department, has not ruled on the motion filed by DOJ. As of this morning, the hearing scheduled for Thursday is still on.
I am standing with Mayor Catherine Pugh, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, my colleagues on the City Council and the citizens of Baltimore in forcefully rejecting this last-minute motion by the DOJ. We deserve real police reform in Baltimore and nothing less.
I am also hopeful that Judge Bredar will allow Thursday’s public hearing to proceed.
According to the court’s web site, “any ruling on the motion to postpone (the hearing) will be posted … immediately.” Please visit http://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/Baltimore-City-Consent-Decree for any changes to the schedule.
If Thursday’s hearing proceeds, members of the public will be allowed to offer testimony throughout the day. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Citizens who wish to offer testimony to Judge Bredar should report Thursday by 8:30 a.m. to the U.S. District Court for Maryland, located at 101 W. Lombard Street, Courtroom 1A.
It is extremely important for Judge Bredar to hear from citizens from Baltimore City. I am encouraging members of the public to attend and offer public testimony on the consent decree and whether you’re in favor.
Bernard C. “Jack” Young
President, Baltimore City Council
Want to go?
- Prior to April 6th: Prepare a 3-minute oral statement detailing whether you support the consent decree and why. The Judge will want to know whether you believe the agreement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the public’s interest.
- On April 6th: Arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. at the U.S. District Court for Maryland, 101 W. Lombard Street. You must go through security. Report to Courtroom 1A. Cell phones must be turned off in the courtroom. The judge will hear comments from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Beginning at 9:00 a.m., put your name on the sign-in sheet in front of Courtroom 1A if you would like to provide oral comments to the court. Only one person per organization.
- Wait in Courtroom 1A for your name to be called. The Hearing will be on the record and all speakers must state their full name and, if applicable, the organization with which they are affiliated.
State regulators end long-running game that used baseball as a teaching tool for high school athletes
A surprise ruling by the State Board of Education caused the cancelation of a long-running showcase game at Camden Yards that unites high school students from diverse backgrounds.
The President’s Cup, a baseball showcase hosted annually by Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and the Baltimore Orioles since 2011, paired public and private high school students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds on all-star-like teams that competed annually at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The Council President’s office was informed less than a month before this year’s match that the game’s format conflicted with State Board of Education regulations regarding athletic competition, and if played might result in penalties assessed to public school students who participated.
The Council President appealed to the board with an official request for a waiver from the regulations governing all-star contests for public school students but was ultimately denied. This year's game was scheduled for Saturday, April 15 at Camden Yards.
Council President Young said that the Maryland State Board of Education allowed red tape and bureaucratic regulations to negatively impact the children of Baltimore by depriving high school student-athletes a once in a lifetime opportunity to play ball at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, arguably the best field in the united states.
“I am extremely disappointed that the board, comprised mainly of adults from wealthier counties, where students don’t face the level of trauma experienced by students in the Baltimore City system, rendered a decision that so permanently crushes the spirits of the very children we are working hard to save in Baltimore.
“I began the President’s Cup in 2011 as a way to use the sport of baseball to unite public and private high school students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.”
Council President Young said that he revamped the format in 2014 with an eye toward developing greater bonds between high school players. The decision by the State Board, however, effectively tells students in Baltimore that they don’t matter.
“I wish that members of the board had informed me in advance that they would consider my request for a waiver. I wish they would have invited me to offer testimony in support of the waiver. I wish they would have allowed me to bring student athletes from Baltimore City to the board meeting to plead their case.
"The decision by the board ends a game that we’ve played for a number of years – one the board was fully aware of – and harms the very children they’re tasked with supporting."
Council President Young said that he plans to work with members of the State Board on a format that will allow the game to continue in 2018.
Learn About the Water Billing Portal
Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., has announced that during the month of February, DPW staff will be attending approximately 50 community association meetings across Baltimore to discuss the new water billing system portal and how to access its features.
DPW’s new web portal allows citizens to view their water usage in daily, or hourly, increments. Knowing how to fully utilize the web portal enables customers to make better decisions when it comes to conserving water, and saving money.
Thousands of citizens have already registered to use the portal and are actively monitoring their usage to detect leaks, dripping faucets, or breaks in the service line or in interior piping that may need a plumber’s intervention. The Department wants to increase use of the portal by as many customers as possible.
“This is a great opportunity for Baltimoreans to learn about this excellent resource,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “The water billing portal can really make a difference for citizens in tracking their water usage. It is a great tool to manage consumption and to save money through conservation, and through early discovery of leaks and service line breaks.”
The list and dates of these meetings are at the bottom of this release. These meetings are only for members and residents of these particular communities. Additional meetings will be announced for other communities in the coming months.
Any customer in the City who receives a bill for water service may register to view their account at https://waterbillportal.baltimorecity.gov/ or by clicking through on the DPW website. A YouTube video is also available to guide customers through the process, at https://www.youtube.com/user/BaltimoreDPW. For first time access to the portal customers will need the access code sent to them in the mail. Those who need the code re-sent to them may request it by emailing DPW.Billing@baltimorecity.gov.
BGE Green Grants Program Now Accepting Applications
Grants of up to $10,000 available to 501c3 organizations focused on improving the environment
BALTIMORE (April 3, 2017) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is now accepting applications for the 2017 Green Grants program. All 501c3 nonprofit organizations within the BGE service area that focus on conservation, education, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and community engagement are eligible to apply at www.bge.com/giving. Applications must be received by May 16, 2017.
Grants range from $1000 to $10,000 and are available to both new and existing programs that clearly demonstrate a commitment to environmental improvements in the community and to enhancing environmental stewardship throughout BGE’s central Maryland service area. Since 2013, the Green Grants program has provided more than $1,300,000 to nonprofit organizations throughout central Maryland.
“Since Green Grants started in 2013, we’ve helped 121 different organizations positively impact the environment in many different and meaningful ways,” said Alexander Núñez, BGE’s senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs. “We look forward to seeing creative ideas and programs put forward by this year’s applicants that will make a difference in the quality of life in the communities we serve.”
Since its founding in 1816, BGE has partnered with Maryland communities to enhance our neighborhoods. Through the use of shareholder dollars, BGE supports programs that deliver measurable and sustainable impact in the areas of energy efficiency, the environment, education, economic and community development, and emergency response and safety.
BGE’s corporate citizenship aligns with its parent company, Exelon Corporation. As part of Exelon’s 2012 merger, Exelon and its subsidiaries committed to maintaining an average of $7 million in annual charitable giving for 10 years. The BGE Green Grants program fulfills part of that commitment.
YouthWorks Needs Your Help
Please help YouthWorks reach its goal of offering summer employment to 8,000 Baltimore City youth.
Become a Hire One Youth Employer - Baltimore’s private-sector employers can hire great workers this summer through the Hire One Youth strategy. Interview responsible and motivated 16- to 21-year olds and select at least one to hire. Youth participants get a high quality work experience. You add a prepared employee. For more information, please sign up at baltimorecity.gov/hireoneyouth or contact Harriett Diles at 410-396-JOBS (5627) or Hdiles@oedworks.com.
Become a YouthWorks worksite - Government agencies, non-profit organizations and community groups that would like to serve as YouthWorks worksites can register online at youthworks.oedworks.com. Young people would be placed in summer jobs with your organization and you would provide supervision and mentoring.
Make a tax-deductible donation - Online donations can be made through the Baltimore City Foundation, Inc. at baltimorecityfoundation.org. Choose MOED - YouthWorks 855-00. Checks can also be made payable to Baltimore City Foundation/YouthWorks and mailed to MOED, 101 W. 24th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.
Coming Up In Baltimore
Youth Employment Fair
Saturday, April 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
3009 Greenmount Avenue
The Youth Employment Fair offers youth ages 14-24 the opportunity to gain access to local organizations who offer workforce development, GED Classes, Criminal Record Expungement and Volunteer/Full-time/ Summer Employment.
Resume encouraged, but not required.
Jazz in Bloom at the Conservatory
Thursday, April 20 from 6-8 p.m
Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory
Come and participate in a celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month with the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. There will be music demonstrations, jam sessions, and conversations with jazz historians and legends. The event will be held at the Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory at Druid Hill Park, Thursday April 20th, from 6-8 p.m.
Mt. Lebonon Baptist Church Job Fair!
Thursday, April 27 at 10 a.m.
Mt. Lebonon Baptist Church
Because MLBC understands how important jobs are to having life and having it more abundantly, MLBC has partnered with Goodwill and CVS to connect people with jobs and job training. MLBC will host a Goodwill job fair on Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and ALL are welcome. If you have any questions, please call MLBC at 410 669-1800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5th Annual African American Children Book Fair
Saturday May 6 at 10 a.m.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
BGE is sponsoring a youth book fair at the Reginald Lewis Museum. They will be giving away free books, there will be performances and art activities. The event is free and open to the public.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake
Becoming a mentor is easy. Mentoring is about real relationships that help young people overcome obstacles and thrive. From education to extracurricular activities to community engagement, young people benefit from mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake Community One-to-One Mentoring Program connects young people with caring adult mentors. Matches are provided with professional supports, inclusive of a case manager, and monthly low to no cost activities. We ask that volunteers commit to mentoring a child for a minimum of one year and to plan two to three match activities per month. To apply contact Leticia Sharp at 410-243-4000 or visit www.biglittle.org/volunteer to complete an online application . Visit Big Brothers Big Sisters on Facebook: BBBSGreaterChesapeake, Twitter: @bbbsgc and instagram: bbbsgc.
Online Homebuyer Education Course
24 hours a day/7days a week
Looking to buy a home? Don't just take your best shot, make it a slam dunk! eHome America can help make your homebuying experience a winning experience! Learn what you need to know about the homebuying process, on your own schedule, from any computer. The cost is low, but the information is invaluable. Visit us at www.ehomeamerica.org/ for more information, or to register online. Information courtesy of Steven C. Kinney of the GO Northwest Housing Resource Center on 2300 Garrison Blvd., Suite 140. For more information e-mail email@example.com or call 410-947-0084.
GO Northwest HRC Free Foreclosure and Prevention Counseling
Every Wednesday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM by appointment only
2300 Garrison Boulevard, Suite 140
This workshop is for individuals who are behind on their mortgage and/or facing foreclosure. Free workshop and free parking! Appointment is required. Call 410-947-0084 x104 for more information.
1056 West Baltimore Street
HomeFree USA uplifts Baltimore communities and empowers families. Resources include homebuying guidance, credit help, mortgage advice, and rebuilding communities. For more information call 410-878-1405 or visit www.homefreeusa.org.
Adult Education Classes in Baltimore City
Baltimore City Community College
Locations throughout Baltimore City
The Baltimore City Community College and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City will offer Basic Skills (Pre GED) Classes at the following locations: Eager Street Homes, 709 E. Eager Street; Gilmor Homes, 1515 Vincent Court; O'Donnell Heights, 1200 Gusryan Street; Pleasant View Homes, 201 N. Aisquith Street; Westport Homes, 2343 Norfolk Street; Brooklyn Homes, 4140 Tenth Street. You must be at least 17 years of age to enroll. For more information call 410-396-3212.