January 2020 Newsletter

Honoring Dr. King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. encouraged us to challenge society’s ills with a ‘divine dissatisfaction.’ He wrote “Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family is living in a decent sanitary home.”

This statement simultaneously speaks to what was so extraordinary about Dr. King’s work, but also the most unheralded element of his personal mission. While he is universally regarded as the face of civil rights advocacy and equity for marginalized citizens, he was also an ardent spokesperson for the needs of the poor and working-class citizenry. So many of his speeches, much of his policy analysis and public discourse was on eliminating gaps in earnings, making employment and homeownership the centerpiece of American dignity, and helping to mobilize workers for better conditions and salary potential. 

All of us have our individual topics and issues for which we invest a lot of time and passion in changing for the better. But at the core of our goals should be the essential question: what can we do to ensure the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people?

We have a lot of work to do and always need your voices. Whether we are helping to create employment or entrepreneurial opportunities for people or shining a light on miscarriages of justice in our system, we have to continue working to address the issues we observe to make this world a better place to live for everyone.

Looking Ahead to the New Year

As many of you may know, I was recently appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to serve as the next state senator representing parts of Baltimore County and Baltimore City in Maryland’s 44th District. This is an unexpected, yet extraordinarily high honor for me, and one that I approach with great seriousness and enthusiasm. 

I was privileged to work on behalf of District 44B for five amazing years, meeting thousands of wonderful people throughout Baltimore County who truly care about their communities, their state and this country. We worked together to bring solutions to a wide range of issues, and to introduce new opportunities to help residents lead more safe and prosperous lives without regard for any social, economic or political barriers which may separate us. 

There are two voices in our legislative bodies who provided extraordinary examples of poise, humility, and determination in their civic careers, who helped me to reach this point and many others in my public service career. First, Senator Delores Goodwin Kelly has been a great colleague, friend, and mentor throughout my time in the legislature, and is as responsible for my learning and successes as an advocate in Annapolis as anyone in our Chambers.

I also want to thank Senator Shirley Nathan Pulliam, for her presence and longevity. As excited as I am to try and continue her great work in the Senate, I am also keenly aware of just how big those shoes will be to fill. If I can walk any distance in them, and make some kind of imprint with them as she did, I will have been successful in this great position of public trust.

In 2019, we made great strides in advancing new policies into law and advocating for ideas of fairness and justice. In February, I stood with members of our communities in calling for greater protections in police use of DNA for investigations and criminal prosecutions, and in eliminating the public disclosure of the identities of juveniles charged as adults in criminal proceedings.

In November, I began working with a committee of elected officials and community leaders to examine ways to reduce potential racial bias in traffic stops throughout Baltimore County. I was also honored to serve as a legislative advocate for the resolution of a 15-year lawsuit between the State of Maryland and students and graduates of the state’s historically black colleges and universities. The action and compassion of District 44B residents, along with thousands of others throughout the state, helped us to draw national attention to our call for Governor Hogan to advance good faith negotiations with the plaintiffs and to reach a resolution which would make Maryland a national model for the advancement of critically important institutions. 

Throughout the year, I continued the important work of supporting greater autonomy for all residents through record expungement workshops, working to reduce food insecurity for area children during the summer months, and helping to direct needed resources to areas recovering from extreme weather and environmental changes.

I also worked with parents across the region to expand insurance benefits for children suffering from a rare neurological disorder and stood with leaders in our faith and business communities to conceptualize economic development opportunities for one of Baltimore County’s critical commercial areas.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve my community, and for the overwhelming support of so many in our district. As I look ahead to this new opportunity, and specifically my work on the Judicial Proceedings, Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Biotechnology and Homelessness Committees, I am eager about facing the challenges ahead in a new house in Annapolis. 

I know that together, our best is yet to come in 2020.

News Coverage of Legislative Appointment

Small Business Spotlight

Want to have your small business spotlighted in our monthly newsletter? Submit an email with your business name, address, service provided, number of years in business, and the best thing about working in your neighborhood and you could be featured in our small business spotlight!

This month’s featured entrepreneur is Real Estate Executive Troy Williams

Describe your business and how your work helps to impact communities throughout District 44.

I manage a real estate office located in District 44.  Assisting homeowners with selling and buying in and around the district is one of the most impactful opportunities for the community I could have.  Families live and thrive in homes that I’ve helped them buy for years and decades, and being a part of that family story as their realtor is a great honor.

Additionally, I am very proud to partner with the Western School of Technology in District 44 as one of their internship providers.  Their student body is top-notch and my intern this school year, Angel, is a Senior business major who has contributed meaningfully to my marketing, brand development, and event planning.  She is receiving course credit for her work with me. We work cooperatively 5 days per week at my office, and she will leave this internship for college in May probably knowing more about real estate and opportunities in the field than most realtors. 

What is the biggest benefit of living and working as an entrepreneur in our district? 

In addition to the great diversity of the district, it is very centrally located to be able to access just about anywhere in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Howard County very quickly.  This makes it an ideal place for any working professional who needs the flexibility to explore job opportunities in these surrounding areas, or within the District itself. As a realtor, this makes it an ideal place to provide the service of helping people buy and sell.

What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned about business ownership in your career?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about business ownership is the value of enduring relationships with past clients.  Each customer I work with gets the same attention and dedication no matter how small or large their transaction, and this results in a very friendly post-transactional relationship that fosters referrals and future business growth.

For neighbors who would like to follow in your footsteps, what is one piece of advice you would give to help them get started?

Most businesses fail because the business owner gives up.  No matter how rough a year you have, always believe in your vision and don’t give up.  No matter how great a year you have, always look for ways to improve on what you’ve accomplished.  And when you have an opportunity to help someone else in their business goals, always teach them what you know.  There’s plenty of opportunity for all so we should help others grow and be successful!

Career Opportunities With BCPS

Job openings with schools within or serving students from District 44B include:

Legislative Resources

Check out several of the digital and social media resources you can use to find out more about the work of the Maryland Legislature, regular meetings, and policy positions.