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Baltimore City Council sworn in Thursday

Posted at 8:34 AM, Dec 08, 2016

The 72nd Baltimore City Council was sworn into office Thursday.

The theme of the ceremony was "strengthening neighborhoods through partnerships."

Eight new faces make up the 15-member council. They include Zeke Cohen in the 1st District, Ryan Dorsey in the 3rd District, Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer in the 5th District, Leon F. Pinkett, III in the 7th District, Kristerfer Burnett in the 8th District, John T. Bullock in the 9th District, Robert Stokes, Sr. in the 12th District and Shannon Sneed in the 13th District.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh attended the ceremony. Mayor Pugh welcomed the members and said she has full confidence in their abilities and the experiences they will bring to the City Council.

"What I want them to understand is that I will have an open door policy because their concerns are my concerns," Pugh said.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young remains at the helm. He has served as president since 2010.

"The members of the previous Council worked hard and tirelessly to improve Baltimore. It is now up to the members of the 72nd Council to take up the fight for justice, and continue to serve the people of Baltimore City with integrity and passion that foster innovative ideas," Council President Jack Young said. "I am proud to stand here before you and say that I know for a fact that the 72nd City Council is up to the task." 

In his address he laid out his plans to partner with non-profit organizations in order to drive down the crime rate and address blight and vacant housing.

"This Council stands ready to work with non-profit developers to support the type of demolition that reinvests in Baltimore by creating sustainable, good paying jobs that can support families," said Young.

He also announced several partnerships with organizations and said his goal is to develop a system that fast tracks non-profit organizations with a proven record of success.

"We would like to cut the red tape, cut the red tape, cut the red tape and create a pre-clearance screening process that helps non-profit developers scale up their work in a manageable way," said Young.

The new Council met for the first time Thursday evening. They will take a short break and then reconvene after the New Year.

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