It would not be hyperbole to describe the assumption of Baltimore’s latest mayor and city council president as the Dynamic Duo. The elevation of Bernard C. “Jack” Young as Baltimore’s Mayor, and Brandon M. Scott as city council president, is an exciting transition coming on the heels of a very uncertain period in Baltimore history.
The recent scandal, which precipitated the unforeseen changes at the helm at City Hall, has actually repositioned the city for greater overall stability, including a meaningful reduction in crime and violence, and economic growth that is more equitable for more of Baltimore’s citizens.
The key to the city’s positive prospect’s are not only the passion and ability these men have brought to the task of municipal governing individually, but the long-term personal and professional chemistry and superb working relationship these two leaders have developed over a decade.
In the case of Jack Young, nearly 25 years of City Council experience including almost a decade as City Council President, uniquely position him to work with his former colleagues to address critical issues facing the city.
Young’s popularity and longevity as the council’s leader suggests shared concerns and priorities for the city’s agenda. Now that Jack Young is in the mayor’s chair, perhaps many of the goals of the council can become official policies and laws more expeditiously.
As council president, Jack Young has demonstrated he sees the big picture of how Baltimore must develop to be competitive among American cities, and as a world-class venue for commerce and culture based on policies he’s supported and votes he has taken.
However, while fulfilling his role as a business booster, Young has kept his eye squarely on the prize as it relates to what is best for his constituents, and Baltimore’s neighborhoods at-large, which is why he has remained a favorite of council members and voters alike. Jack Young is a steady hand at the wheel of city government at a crucial time.
Then there is Brandon Scott. As the youngest member ever elected to the Baltimore City Council, and the first millennial chosen as the council’s president, Scott is a youthful voice championing issues critical to the community, namely public safety.
Scott has been an important partner of law enforcement when he recognized initiatives that have been germane to the interests and well being of citizens. On the other hand, he has been a fearless, unabashed critic of police where their policies, procedures and certain incidences were antithetical to citizen interests.
As a child of the Park Heights neighborhood, Scott has unfortunately been an unwilling witness to street violence and the ravages of Baltimore’s high murder rates, which no doubt was a motivation for him to join, and then lead, the city council’s Public Safety Committee. So seriously does Brandon Scott take the issue of murder in Baltimore, he presided over his committee’s meetings by opening with a report of the to-date murder tally and a moment of silence.
Along with his ascension to City Council President, Scott becomes the chairman of the Board of Estimates, the municipal body that ultimately controls Baltimore City’s purse strings. In this capacity he will heavily determine the appropriation of resources to fulfill the agenda of the city council relating to uplifting citizens that have been prioritized, in part, by himself and Jack Young.
Considering how bleak Baltimore’s situation appeared just one week ago, citizens can take comfort that the city’s governing is in very capable hands.