June 10, 2021 Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced plans to develop a multi-departmental place-based recovery initiative in the Essex community, an area which has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County will host a Virtual Community Input Meeting on Tuesday, June 15, at 6 p.m. so that County leaders can hear directly from residents about their concerns, priorities, and ideas for improvements.

“When our communities are in need, we have an obligation to come together to provide coordinated planning and the dedicated resources necessary to help empower residents, address disparities, and improve the overall quality of life,” Olszewski said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many long-standing challenges we face, and that has been especially true in Essex, which is why we are embarking upon this innovative, data-driven effort to provide transformative change.”

Last week, Olszewski held the administration’s second Essex community walk this year, which convened County government department heads as well as representatives of the Baltimore County Public Libraries, Community College of Baltimore County, and Baltimore County Public Schools to walk impacted neighborhoods and speak directly to residents in the area.

During the walk, Olszewski and County leaders spoke to residents about a wide variety of concerns, including public safety, code enforcement, access to recreational spaces, as well as other social and economic disparities.

Recognizing the need for a coordinated response to address these issues, Olszewski plans to develop a comprehensive place-based initiative, which will leverage cross-departmental collaboration and dedicate concentrated resources to support the Essex community’s recovery while combatting these challenges.

The upcoming Community Input Meeting will help guide the County’s planning process and inform the specific programs, initiatives and investments that will be included in the Essex Recovery Initiative.

Essex Recovery Initiative Virtual Community Input Meeting
  • Tuesday, 6/15; 6 p.m.
  • Via Webex
  • Call in: 1-415-655-0001; Access code: 730 701 249

Community members can also share feedback or concerns by email to JohnnyO@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov.

This effort will be monitored by the County’s BCSTAT team, which will use data to identify key metrics and track outcomes over the coming months.

Based on the progress of this effort, the place-based pilot model could be replicated in other communities in Baltimore County.