Baltimore County's first African-American council chair wants milestones to become standards

TOWSON, Md. (WMAR) -

Praise and worship at New Antioch Baptist Church is when you’ll undoubtedly meet Julian Jones. He never misses a Sunday, and never misses a chance to meet with those he loves – his people.

“It’s good to be able to help people. Especially people who have run into road blocks and this job, [I’m] fortunate enough, it gives me the type of access where a lot of times I can make a phone call and really make a difference for somebody,” Jones said.

By his side, his wife, kids, and grandchildren – a commitment to family instilled in him by his father; his namesake.

To know Jones is to know the man who has stood by his side at almost every milestone.

“Nothing was more important to him than his family. My father worked two jobs for as long as I can remember. He loved his family – died about 12 years ago. There’s not a day I don’t think about him,” Jones said, holding back tears.

It’s a vulnerable spot for Jones – his dad grew up fending for himself at just eight years old and because of that he made sure all his kids knew the value of family and beyond that, their family.

“I always was involved in my community. I was a PTA president for years and I decided that I thought that I had something to offer to the community. So I decided to run for office,” Jones said.

Before becoming a councilman in Baltimore County, Julian was Anne Arundel County’s first African-American ranking officer with the fire department.

Initially, using an entry level job there to pay his way his way through college.

“They were starting pay for like $18,963 – I still remember. I thought, ‘why not? I’ll give it a try,” Jones asked himself.

After graduating with a degree in information systems management, Julian decided to stick around the fire house – rising in rank and responsibility.

“The first part is to know that you can do it, that it can be done. Then from there, it’s just a matter of laying out the steps and working hard to that goal,” Jones said.

Hard work and a lingering feeling of work needing to be done led Jones to run for office.

After two goes at a council seat in Baltimore County, he landed in a position where he says he’s affecting more people than he ever was.

It’s pushed him to the role of chairman – yet again, the first African-American to ever do it.

“Some people, they have to see it before they can achieve it. They have to see people who look like them in positions where they feel like they can do it,” Jones said.

An inspiration, Jones says, he found from his faith, his fellowship, and his family.

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