Earlier this month, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olzewski issued an executive order establishing a task force for New Americans.
“Baltimore County’s greatest strength is its diversity, and we believe that all people – including those who are new to the country – should feel included and valued,” said Olszewski, in a statement.
The task force is entrusted with organizing focus groups, finding five of the county’s most commonly spoken languages and addressing barriers facing immigrants. During its first meeting on Thursday, June 15, the 36-member force outlined focus areas.
The group agreed to create six subcommittees that will dive deeper into:
- Improving access to education
- Economic development and entrepreneurship
- Creating safe and healthy communities
- Increasing civic engagement
- Proactive community outreach
- Creating equitable access in other areas such as healthcare, housing and more
The task force consists of a diverse group of people with backgrounds in education, business, government and non-profit.
Members also vary in countries of origin and immigration pathways to allow for more representation. That’s because people enter the country for varying reasons — international students, refugees, permanent residents — creating different statuses which allow access to different opportunities.