BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Wednesday a new cabinet charged with helping lead the city’s investment and commitment to the city’s children and youth.

The Baltimore Children’s Cabinet will be made up of two-dozen people in city and state agencies with youth-serving programs and a few outside partners, the city. It will be chaired by Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success Executive Director Tisha Edwards and will meet bimonthly.

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“We’re not going to be talking about potholes. We’re going to be talking about literacy. We’re going to be talking about trauma-informed care,” Edwards said.

The three areas of focus, according to the city, will be:

  • “Understanding and removing barriers to a healthy cradle-to-career (0-24) trajectory for our youth
  • “Better coordination of programs and services, data and metrics
  • “Attention in all that we do to the biases and inequities embedded in our systems”

As the cabinet begins its efforts, its first major goals will address issues including youth homelessness, trauma in young people, food insecurity and “addressing historical barriers that prevent the success of boys and young men of color,”

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“These goals cast a broad net but accurately reflect the incredibly broad scope of work before us to make sure our young people have access to the opportunities, resources and supports they need and deserve,” Edwards said. “The work is really about addressing deep, institutional poverty in ways that will—and where we must—move the needle.”

This comes as the city launched a plan to address issues with so-called “squeegee kids” and find them other jobs.

The Mayor’s Office says the group will work on the squeegee issue, but its scope is much more holistic.

Notably, there are no children on the cabinet, but officials say they plan to engage them soon.

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“This represents the government-level leadership, but we expect to have deep tentacles and engagement, multi-generational engagement, in this work,” Edwards said.

Paul Gessler