Baltimore City Council | WYPR

Baltimore City Council

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 A Baltimore City Council bill to officially change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day throughout the city, at a time where the Italian explorer’s legacy is under renewed scrutiny amid a massive reckoning over racial injustice.

It’s the latest public re-examination of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore. A group of protesters tore down a Columbus statue near the Inner Harbor on the 4th of July and Councilman Ryan Dorsey has introduced a bill currently making its way through City Hall to rename another Columbus monument in the city.

The Daily Dose 9-22-20

Sep 22, 2020

Baltimore City Council heard more than 30 new bills at its most recent meeting, including labor bills to protect the right-of-return of laid-off employees. And the debate over police reform in Maryland takes front and center in a marathon three day hearing in the State Senate.

The Daily Dose 8-27-20

Aug 27, 2020
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Governor Hogan says Maryland schools need to come up with a plan to bring children back into classrooms. And the Baltimore City Council has an emotional debate over a bill to rename the Columbus monument to honor victims of police brutality.

AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY

The Baltimore City Council held a virtual meeting Monday night, where two new bills that aim to bolster housing security as the coronavirus pandemic continues were introduced. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterner discuss an effort to establish a permanent housing voucher program and a potential ban on the city tax selling of homes that belong to people over the age of 65, people who are disabled and people with low incomes.

AP PHOTO/Steve Ruark

Near the affluent Harbor East neighborhood is Perkins Homes, a public housing project built in the 1940s that has been suffering blight for years. 

But through the PSO Transformation Plan, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and Baltimore City are transforming Perkins Homes into a new mixed-income housing complex. 

The Daily Dose 7-21-20

Jul 21, 2020
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Baltimore City Schools delay in-person classes until later this fall. The City Council passes a charter amendment for a new watchdog role over city government. A spike in COVID-19 cases prompts a new mask order in Baltimore County. And Baltimore County elections workers say the governor’s order to open all polling places in November is going to be a problem.

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The Baltimore City Council voted favorably on a prominent charter amendment to restructure city government on Monday night. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterner discuss what "good government" charter amendments may appear on Baltimore voters’ ballots in November.

SCREENSHOT VIA EMILY SULLIVAN, CHARMTV

The Baltimore City Council held its third virtual meeting last night as coronavirus containment methods keep legislators at home. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterer discuss a bill that aims to establish a permanent home for the city's Children and Youth Fund and divert up to $13 million from that fund to fund internet access and technology for children as well as boxed meals.

 

screenshot via Emily Sullivan/WYPR


    The Baltimore City Council heard a series of coronavirus measures during its second-ever virtual meeting Monday night. 

City Council President Brandon Scott introduced an ordinance that would make the acts of impersonating an official and issuing “false statements” during a declared state of emergency a misdemeanor. 

AP/Patrick Semansky

The Baltimore City Council met for the last time this month on Monday night. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterner discuss a charter amendment to change the makeup of city council, an ordinance that would require the city to abide by state recordkeeping standards, the repeal of a portion of city code that bans play in the streets and changes at the Board of Ethics.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a $2,500 property tax credit to make homeownership more feasible for the lowest-paid rung of city employees at its Feb. 10 meeting. Councilman Bill Henry introduced a charter amendment that would reduce the size of the City Council and add at-large members. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner to explain the proposed changes and their timeline.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

People of color have been barred from jobs and schools for wearing their natural hair for centuries, and legislation across the country — including Baltimore — is just now catching up. Baltimore City Council is considering a bill that would ban hair discrimination throughout the majority-black city.

 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

After former Mayor Catherine Pugh's self-dealing, City Council President Brandon Scott introduced a city charter amendment to adjust the makeup of the Board of Estimates at Monday's council meeting. The council also passed the Trauma Responsive Care Act and saw the introduction of Scott and Councilwoman Shannon Sneed's labor agreement bill. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what those bills are, and how they came about.

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

After a tumultous year of multiple elected officials stepping down amid corruption charges, Councilman Ryan Dorsey introduced a new bill that would prohibit those in office from accepting or soliciting gifts at a City Council meeting Monday night. City Council President Brandon Scott introduced resolutions to examine possible solutions to the opioid crisis in Baltimore. The Council also pushed Councilman Zeke Cohen's Trauma Responsive Care Act further along in the legislative process. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what these bills are and how they came about. 

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In the spring of 2019, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid the fallout from the “Healthy Holly” scandal, where she struck more than $800,000 in deals to sell copies of her self-published children books. Although she’d lost the support of the City Council, they had no power to remove her unless she was convicted of a crime. 

That incident led many to question the way the Baltimore City government is structured. Mayors of Baltimore have a lot of power relative to mayors in many other cities because of our so-called strong mayor system. And some on the City Council are trying to change that through charter amendments that would make major changes to how the city government is run.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a plastic bag ban Monday evening, meaning those plastic bags found at the grocery store or your favorite takeout place will disappear next year. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

  The Baltimore City Council passed the Water Accountability and Equity Act Monday, paving the way for water bill discount programs and Department of Public Works oversight measures.

Baltimore City Hall

City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed has joined fellow council member Leon Pinkett in the Democratic primary race to be Baltimore’s next City Council President and drive city legislation.

The freshman councilwoman announced her run for the office on Thursday.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee approved on Thursday a measure that would create several programs and offices to make low income residents’ water bills more affordable. 

The committee passed the Water Accountability & Equity Act without of the 14 pages of amendments that Department of Public Works Director Rudy Chow submitted less than a half hour before the meeting, which was supposed to be the last committee work session on the bill.

Baltimore City Hall

 

After months of speculation, Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott has officially entered the 2020 mayoral race, becoming the first elected official to do so.

 

The 35-year-old announced his campaign in north Baltimore on Friday morning, surrounded by family members and a group of leaders from the second district, which he represented as a councilman, as well as other city leaders.

 

Paul Sakuma/AP

 

Legislators in Baltimore have tried and failed to ban or highly reduce plastic bag use eight times in the last decade. A plastic bag ban bill appeared on the City Council’s docket for the ninth time this summer, and because of a progressive council it could finally pass, according to Councilman Bill Henry, the bill’s lead sponsor.

Baltimore City Hall

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is pitching a wide-ranging plan designed to change the shape of city government. The proposal lays out a roadmap full of policy changes the council and other government officials can take to “deliver for Baltimore’s residents and bring greater transparency to the way we operate,” Scott said Wednesday.

AP/Patrick Semansky

Bryonna Harris, Jaionna Santos and Damani Thomas were eating lunch at Frederick Douglass High School when a hall monitor was shot.

 

The students, who are now rising seniors at the West Baltimore school, later testified at City Hall about the February incident, as well as about the trauma they have experienced both inside and outside their homes in their short lives. 

Official photograph

Those plastic bags you get at your local supermarket, or just about anywhere you shop in Baltimore City, could be a thing of the past under a measure City Councilman Bill Henry plans to introduce at Monday’s council meeting.

The bill would ban plastic bags altogether and place a surcharge of five cents on other bags — like paper or compostable bags —at the point of sale or during pick up or delivery. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore residents who face the most severe impacts of increasing water bills are disproportionately black, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report, conducted by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is independent from the NAACP, comes as the Baltimore City Council considers the Water Accountability & Equity Act.

Emily Sullivan

Danielle McCray was sworn in as the 2nd district city council member by Mayor Jack Young in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon, capping the end of a series of office transitions that began after former mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation.

McCray served as an aide to City Council President Brandon Scott when he represented the Northeast Baltimore district. She spent five years handling constituent and policy issues.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The second district vacancy committee tapped Danielle McCray out of 14 eligible candidates Thursday for an empty City Council position, filling the final seat in a round of political musical chairs that began when former Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned.

McCray was the odds-on favorite to get the job. She had worked as an aide to City Council President Brandon Scott when he held the second district seat, handling constituent issues for five years, and knew the second district neighborhood association leaders who made up the bulk of the committee.

AP/Patrick Semansky

A pool of 22 candidates has hopes of filling the Baltimore City Council seat vacated when Second District Councilman Brandon Scott became Council President.

 A 13-member committee that includes council members Shannon Sneed and Zeke Cohen as well as a variety of second district neighborhood association leaders will select the future council member.

Baltimore City Hall

City Councilman Brandon Scott has been unanimously elected as Council President by his colleagues after four days of leadership upheaval following the resignation of Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Scott and Sharon Green Middleton, the council vice president who had been filling in as president, had been tied in colleagues’ pledges for votes over the weekend, until Scott own over a few more members, including veteran councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

 

Last night, the city council introduced a package of charter amendments that would bolster its power throughout the city -- and over the mayor. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain the proposed changes and their timeline.

 

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