Baltimore County’s businesses, its government, and its people share a common vision for a bright future — not merely over the next five or ten years, but for generations to come.
With the goal of boosting community engagement and identifying budget deficiencies, the County Executive has created a new blue ribbon commission tasked with studying the County budget process.Learn More
"I grew up in the shadow of a steel mill. I saw firsthand the detrimental effects the mill’s closure had on my friends and family. But like so many in Baltimore County, I didn’t give up, I went to work."
- John Olszewski, Jr.
"I spent 7 years teaching in the Baltimore County Public School System. I know what needs to happen to bring our children’s schools into the 21st century."
- John Olszewski, Jr.
"For nearly a decade I served in the state legislature working to improve education, bring jobs to Maryland, and improve the quality of life for all Marylanders."
- John Olszewski, Jr.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the formation of the Baltimore County Youth Climate Working Group to better engage young people in the County’s ongoing efforts to adopt sustainable practices and policies to combat climate change.
The first-of-its-kind workgroup will convene high school students from around Baltimore County to ensure youth voices, concerns, and recommendations are included in the County’s Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts.
“We are already seeing the consequences of climate change in Baltimore County, and they will only grow more severe in the years ahead unless we take action now,” said County Executive Olszewski. “Youth voices are among the most important in the global fight for our planet because they will be the most impacted by our actions. We need their vision and passion to build a cleaner, greener and more sustainable Baltimore County.”
Earlier this year, students in Baltimore County and across the world participated in the Global Climate Strike to demand action be taken to address climate change. By engaging them through this working group, students’ impassioned call for progress can help lead to tangible solutions at the local level.
Students will have opportunities to meet with the County Executive, Chief Sustainability Officer, and other members of the administration to share their perspectives on climate change, discuss how it impacts their communities, and to develop potential solutions. Recommendations and feedback from the Youth Climate Working Group will be incorporated in the County’s final Climate Action Plan.
This is the latest effort from the Administration to promote environmental sustainability and enhance community input into government.
In August, County Executive Olszewski named former Delegate Steve Lafferty as Baltimore County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. Lafferty is tasked with leading the county’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and to promote countywide sustainability initiatives. The Sustainability Officer will lead the development of county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure, and sustainable growth policy.
“We are thrilled to provide young people with this opportunity to share their opinions and ideas about the impact of climate change,” Lafferty said. “By bringing students and young people into the processes, we can make sure they are part of the solution today while inspiring the leaders of tomorrow to carry on the fight for a cleaner, greener future.”
Baltimore County partnered with schools across the county to recruit 20 students to participate in the Working Group.
The Youth Climate Working Group will hold its first meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019.
Baltimore County is seeking community input on making Baltimore County more age-friendly to empower residents of all ages and abilities to live, work, play and reside comfortably in their communities.
“An age-friendly Baltimore County is one where all residents feel welcome and can take comfort in knowing that their concerns are being heard and their needs are being met,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski.
County Executive Olszewski and the Baltimore County Department of Aging earlier this year launched the Age-Friendly Baltimore County initiative in partnership with the AARP network of Age-Friendly states and communities. The network is the United States affiliate of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program, an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization.
The Age-Friendly Baltimore County initiative is examining issues such as affordable and accessible housing; creating open and accessible green spaces; accessible public transportation options and ways to create more opportunities for civic engagement and employment.
To fill out the survey, visit the questionnaire on SurveyMonkey.
For more information or to get involved:
The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. For more information on the various programs provided by BCDA, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/aging.
The Opioid Response Working Group convened by Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released its final report (PDF), which includes 11 recommendations to prevent addiction, expand access to treatment and reduce overdose deaths.
The recommendations fall into seven categories, including stigma, prevention, treatment, recovery, family support, criminal justice, and harm reduction.
“Every overdose death means the loss of a son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, neighbor and friend. We must act strategically and decisively to address this devastating epidemic,” County Executive Olszewski said. “While we are proud of the tangible steps we are taking to address this epidemic, every death is preventable and we must continue to do more. I commend our working group for listening to people across the county and producing a set of specific recommendations to help us take immediate action and save lives.”
Baltimore County has the second highest number of overdose deaths in the state – in 2018, 348 people died from opioid-related overdoses, up from 323 in 2017. In the first six months of 2019, the county saw a small decline in the number of overdose deaths, but there were still 187 drug and alcohol overdose deaths in the county in that period.
Olszewski named an Opioid Strategy Coordinator and in May, he created the Opioid Response Working Group. The Working Group gathered public input through an online survey and two public meetings, as well as information from experts and stakeholders. A draft report was released in September with an opportunity for public comment.
“We appreciate the engagement of so many people across the county sharing their knowledge and experience on the opioid crisis,” said working group chair and President and CEO of GBMC HealthCare System Dr. John Chessare. “These recommendations reflect this input and will set the County on a path for further progress.”
The working group recommendations released today are:
The working group today also released responses (PDF) to the online survey and comments received about the draft report.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the Built to Learn Act:
“I have proudly led the fight for additional state school construction funding to provide our children and educators with the school facilities they deserve.
Thanks to leadership of Speaker Adrienne Jones and the Baltimore County delegation, we saw real progress last year as the House passed the Build to Learn Act.
I applaud Speaker Jones, Senate President Miller, and Senator Ferguson for taking up our fight, and I am confident that they will get the job done this year for communities across Maryland.”
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued the following statement in response to the Baltimore County Council’s passage of the HOME Act:
“Today is a major step forward for Baltimore County. I thank the County Council for recognizing that discrimination in any form is wrong, and for working with me in taking this critical step to fulfill our legal and moral obligations. Together we will continue to expand economic opportunity, improve equity and build a better Baltimore County.”
A lifelong Baltimore County resident, Johnny believes in the power of public service and giving back to the community that has done so much for him. Learn More.