In January of this year, Caylin Young, J.D. ’16, became the director of public policy at the ACLU of Maryland. In his role, he collaborates with stakeholders across the state in planning and implementing comprehensive legislative strategy. He provides legislative and strategic guidance and tools including policy analysis, strategies for lobbying, decision-maker targeting, effective coalition building, messaging and public engagement.
The 2021 Maryland legislative session saw the passage of multiple historic police reform measures, which were a top priority for the ACLU and demanded a great deal of Young’s time and energy.
Young was involved in similar police reform efforts in 2018, while working as public policy counsel at the Maryland ACLU. “[We advocated for] repealing the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, trying to set a statewide use-of-force standard … But there was not enough political capital and political motivation to get that done — even a few years ago, post-Freddie Gray,” he said in an April 2021 Baltimore Law webinar on access to justice.
“However, in the past year and a half … we’ve seen national protests … and that has pushed the politics in a different way. We’ve also seen some different political leadership,” Young said, “and that’s created the atmosphere where a lot of these reforms have been able to come to pass, finally.”
Before rejoining the ACLU, Young served for two years as the legislative director for City Council President Brandon Scott — now mayor of Baltimore — and deputy director of government relations for Mayor Scott. He also served as the 2015–2016 National Chair for the National Black Law Students Association.
Rounding out his political experience, Young served as a Legal Fellow under U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), and was a legislative assistant for former Senate President Pro-Tempore Nathaniel J. McFadden (D-45) and Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn (D-45).