Maryland Voter Guide 2022

2022 Voter Guide: Justin Holliday, candidate for Baltimore County Council District 7

Baltimore County Council
District 7

Justin Holliday



Old Dundalk, Baltimore County

Special Education Teacher, Baltimore County Public Schools. Bartender & Shop Steward w/ Unite Here Local 7, at Camden Yards.

Attended Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts, Dundalk, Maryland; University of Baltimore, B.A. (government & public policy), 2018.

Member, Baltimore County Democratic State Central Committee, 2018-present. Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 2020. Candidate, Maryland House of Delegates, 2018. Intern, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, 2016.

Why are you running for office?

There is nothing more rewarding than being able to serve your community, my fellow residents in 7th District deserve a councilperson who is conscious and responsive to their daily concerns. I intend to restore public confidence in the government's ability to do good and efficiently address the issues facing our neighborhoods.

What do you see as the most pressing issue Baltimore County faces and how would you address it?

Through conversations with residents, crime continues to be a top concern within our communities. The Baltimore County Police Department is facing record shortages which runs the force thin in their ability to be proactive and visible in our neighborhoods. The retention and recruitment efforts of diverse, well-trained police officers must be a top investment priority in keeping our citizens safe and ensuring Baltimore County is an inviting place for families, workers, students, businesses, and consumers alike.

What plans do you have to help the county and its businesses successfully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic?

As we continue on the road to recovery, assisting small-businesses hit hardest by the pandemic should continue to be a budgetary priority. As a council member I will strongly advocate for small business recovery funds to be included in the county executive's 2023 budget. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and should be valued as such.

What are your views on the future growth and economic development in the county?

As our population continues to rise, so too does the demand for housing and commercial centers. While accommodating growing populations is necessary, this process cannot go unchecked. With any developments or sale of county land, the impact on the local and regional environment, flow of traffic, and school capacity concerns must be considered and addressed by the interested parties, not at the direct expense of taxpayers. I am a strong proponent of smart-growth strategies and reducing the amount of deforestation and green space loss we continue to see across the county.

What role can the county government play to improve education in county schools?

As a special education teacher in Baltimore County, I see firsthand the needs of our public schools. Many of our school buildings continue to be over-capacitated, often requiring the use of trailers outside the main structures and/or overcrowded classrooms. As a county, we must ensure that our investments in education are reflective of growing population patterns and that the direct needs of our students, teachers, and support staff, including but not limited to classroom supplies, updated technology, proper compensation, and mental health services, are being met.

What efforts do the county need to make to address systemic racism in government services?

Baltimore County needs to be committed to ensuring the future of county government reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. Creating and funding training programs and career exploration workshops through the Community College of Baltimore County and Baltimore County Public Schools for citizens and students alike who are interested in a career in public service, would be my main goal for the county in recruiting diverse, homegrown talent through a county funded pathway.

Do you think there needs to be additional oversight to the Office of the Inspector General or changes to the structure of the office? If so, please explain.

No, I believe any oversight of the Office of the Inspector General is counterproductive and contradictory to its intended purpose to function as an independent entity. I do fully support providing additional funding to the office to identify fraud, abuse, and illegal acts within county government.

What steps must the county take to improve public safety?

It is no secret crime is up nationally, the county must continue to forge and grow existing relationships between our communities and police department through community input and police outreach. Strong community-police relationships are the key ingredient to crime prevention and resolution. As previously mentioned, the county must also prioritize recruitment and retention efforts to address staff shortages across the police department and 911 center.

How is climate change impacting the county and what can be done locally to address the effects?

Sea level rise continues to pose the greatest threat to coastal communities, the 7th district in particular sits along the Patapsco River, Back River, Middle River, and our treasured Chesapeake Bay. The residents and businesses along the shore are at a direct risk of flooding and the stronger, more frequent storms that are associated with climate change. The county should invest in research for mitigation strategies that could protect these at-risk properties, in addition to ensuring we are a regional leader in reducing our carbon footprint through policy and practice.

Baltimore Sun Media's voter guide allows candidates to provide their background, policy and platforms on issues, in their own words. Any questions or feedback can be sent to, or read more about the questionnaire process here.