WMAR Podcast


Building Up Baltimore

2 BMore Podcast
Posted at 10:44 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-28 16:23:59-04

Zoning might not sound like a fun and interesting topic, but when you see a sign pop up for your favorite new business or a new home community that you can’t wait to move into, there is an entire process that goes on well before it gets to that point. Even when the signs go up, the process can take some time and even stall, for months, or even years. What is the process? Are there ways we can be more creative? What about projects starting and then stalling? Why does that happen? In this podcast, we talk to a zoning expert who helps us understand a little bit more of these processes and more on how Baltimore builds and builds equitably.

TJ Smith

T.J. Smith is a retired police commander, former chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, former press secretary for the Baltimore County Executive, and a former Baltimore City mayoral candidate. More recently, Smith partnered with Jimmy’s Famous Fund where he assisted in raising more than $600,000 over the past year that was donated to small restaurants in Baltimore, children for a holiday experience, and the families of a police officer and firefighters killed in the line of duty. In addition to hosting the 2Bmore Podcast, Smith consults on government, leadership, and law enforcement issues. He is also a frequent guest on a national news outlet and TV One network programming.

Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a partner in the Land Use and Zoning group at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP where he advises on land use, zoning, permitting, and liquor licensing matters for developers, landlords, and bar/restaurant operators in the Greater Baltimore region. Prior to RMG, Justin was a member of Venable, LLP’s State and Local Government group. He also worked as a CitiStat Analyst in the Administration of former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

In addition to his law practice, Justin sits on the Board of Directors for the Southeast (Baltimore) Community Development Corporation and Live Baltimore. In 2021, he was appointed by Governor Hogan to the Maryland State Board of Elections. He also served on Baltimore City Comptroller Bill Henry’s Transition Team and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s Affordable Housing Work Group.

Justin earned his law degree in 2010 from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as Staff Editor on the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy. He graduated from Bryant University in 2005, where he received Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees. At Bryant, Justin was a member of the varsity football team and was named to the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll each season of his career.

A trivia buff, Justin has appeared as a contestant on both Jeopardy! and Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but as a native of Baltimore (County), is disappointed he never made it on to It’s Academic.