POLICIES

AGENDA ITEM

DESCRIPTION

IMPORTANCE

The Baltimore Police Department cannot be expected to reduce crime alone. Every city agency has a role to play in addressing the disease of gun violence in our city. I will continue to advocate for a violence reduction strategy that treats violent crime as a public health issue and incorporates more city resources in the fight.

Pass Bill 19-0451: Biennial Comprehensive Crime Reduction Plan, requiring the biennial development and presentation of a comprehensive crime reduction strategy plan. This plan should be developed with input from the Baltimore Police Department, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, the State's Attorney's Office, the Health Department, the Fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Office of Children and Family Success.

ORDINANCE

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Require a Comprehensive Crime Strategy

Most weapons traced by the BPD originate from outside of Baltimore City — and even outside Maryland. Straw purchasers buy guns for people who are prohibited from having them. Currently, several offenses are omitted that are critical to stopping the flow of illegal guns into Baltimore City. Common sense additions to the gun registry would help hold the people trafficking guns into the city accountable.

Strengthen our Gun Offender Registry to better identify straw purchasers, illegal users of assault weapons, and those who sell guns to minors.

ORDINANCE

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Target Gun Traffickers and Straw Purchasers

While the new funding formula has not been finalized, we know it will require that the City invest more local dollars into our school system. We must ensure we are prepared to meet that responsibility. This is not an option.

Introduce a Resolution demanding the Department of Finance present the City Council with a proactive plan to increase local funding for our public schools.

OVERSIGHT HEARING

INVESTING IN YOUTH, OUR FUTURE

Fight for More Money for Our Public Schools

The recent ransomware attack illuminates a gap in important tech know-how and protection within city government. We must do more as a city to build critical cybersecurity infrastructure while expanding access to technology to all residents. A modern city needs modern technology infrastructure.

Work with the co-chairs of the new Cybersecurity & Emergency Preparedness Committee to lead the Council’s efforts to modernize the City’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Activate the New Cybersecurity Committee

Too often, youth team coaches are not equipped with the training and equipment to keep our young athletes safe. If a medical emergency happens during a youth related sports event, I want to make sure that this city has taken every step possible to ensure the coaches are equipped to properly respond.

Pass Bill 19-0337: The Jordan McNair Youth Athletic Protection Act to keep our youth athletes safe by requiring safety training and equipment for all youth team officials that use the Department of Recreation & Parks’ facilities.

ORDINANCE

INVESTING IN YOUTH, OUR FUTURE

Enact Youth Athletic Protection

This bill makes the use of non-disparagement agreements, or "gag orders," illegal for settlement agreements in police misconduct and unlawful discrimination claims levied against the City of Baltimore. “Gag orders” require residents to keep silent in cases of police misconduct, if they reach a financial settlement with the City. The bill also requires the City's Law Department to publish information about claims filed.

Pass Bill 19-0409 "Transparency and Oversight in Claims and Litigation" – legislation co-sponsored by Council President Scott and Councilwoman Sneed.

ORDINANCE

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

End ‘Gag Orders’ in City Legal Settlements

The upcoming legislative session in Annapolis will be critically important for the fate of our children and public education system. Fighting for Baltimore's public schools as the Kirwan Commission finalizes its recommendations will be a top priority of my legislative agenda in Annapolis.

Advocate for increasing the City's contribution to our public schools.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

INVESTING IN YOUTH, OUR FUTURE

Fight for More Money for Our Public Schools

Good policy starts with a deep understanding of the issue at hand. Before it votes on any bill, the City Council should know what the bill does, how much it will cost taxpayers, and what impact it will have on all Baltimoreans.

Pass a law requiring all ordinances to have a completed fiscal and equity analysis.

ORDINANCE

EQUITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Require Legislation to Have Fiscal and Equity Analysis

The Charter is the primary governing document for the city. Unfortunately, it is not regularly reviewed and updated. The Charter Review Commission will make recommendations for how to improve and modernize our City Charter each decade.

Pass legislation creating a Charter Review Commission, made up of city officials, legal experts, and residents.

ORDINANCE

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Require City Charter Reviews Every Decade

Our recreational centers must be a community resource all week round. In the Council President's first month on the job, he and the Council secured an additional $2.6 million dollars to keep Baltimore's recreation centers open on Saturdays. In the upcoming budget process, he will fight for our recreation centers to be open on Sundays.

Fight for our recreation centers to be open seven days per week.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

INVESTING IN YOUTH, OUR FUTURE

Create More Modern Opportunities for Youth

In many jurisdictions, the roles of the Mayor and chief administrator are separate. Mayors are executives who focus on the challenges facing the city, while administrators play a politically-neutral role maintaining efficient city operations.

Pass Bill 19-0382, a Charter Amendment Council President Scott introduced as a Councilmember, to establish a City Administrator in Baltimore City.

CHARTER AMENDMENT

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Create City Administrator For Baltimore

Currently, a small volunteer Board of Ethics with no full-time staff conducts investigations into potential violations of the Ethics Code. The Department of Legislative Reference, a department primarily tasked with bill drafting and legal research, spends part of its time working on ethics issues.

Fight for the passage of a bill to separate the Board of Ethics from the Department of Legislative Reference.

ORDINANCE

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Strengthen City Ethics Watchdog

Changing the makeup of the Board of Estimates is one way to increase transparency and deliberation in how taxpayer dollars are spent. The Board is currently made up of the City Council President, Mayor, Comptroller, City Solicitor, and Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW). The City Solicitor and DPW Director are both appointed by the Mayor.

Introduce a Charter Amendment to reduce the size of the Board of Estimates from five members to three.

CHARTER AMENDMENT

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Change the Makeup of the Board of Estimates

Baltimore City Government has thirteen-thousand employees with an operating budget of $2.90 billion, yet allocates $0 for ethics enforcement, as recently reported by The Baltimore Sun. This is entirely inadequate particularly in light of recent events calling the ethics of elected officials and City employees into question.

Fight for funding to appropriately staff the Baltimore City Board of Ethics.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Strengthen City Ethics Watchdog

The best way to engage residents who are most affected by policies is to hold public hearings in those communities. Technology has made live streaming and commenting simple and cheap. Council President Scott seeks to make the halls of power more accessible for all residents.

Make all meetings of the City Council and its committees available for live streaming and comments.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

CLEANING UP CITY GOVERNMENT

Expand Access to Public Hearings

Baltimore is the only jurisdiction in Maryland that does not directly oversee its police department. Baltimore’s residents must advocate for legislative reforms to the police department by traveling to Annapolis to lobby our state representatives. Without the ability to set policies and provide oversight, we will not be able to truly transform this department and fulfill Consent Decree requirements.

Continue advocacy in Annapolis to restore local control of the Baltimore Police Department.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Restore Local Control and Oversight of the BPD

In 2017, Council President Scott passed a law establishing a Citizens Advisory Commission for Public Safety (17-0063). This Commission is established, but its members have not been nominated. The Commission is tasked with making recommendations to our agencies about how to address community concerns related to public safety. With new leadership at the Baltimore Police Department and the Consent Decree process underway, it's time for this group to get to work.

Name an Advisory Commission for Public Safety to give residents a voice as we address the public safety needs of their communities in the context of the Consent Decree.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Nominate Advisory Commission for Public Safety

When someone is harmed by violence the harm inflicted reverberates beyond the victim — families and communities are impacted as well. Our city agencies all have a role to play in serving and supporting those who have been directly and indirectly impacted by gun violence. There are many ways we could better deploy city resources to respond to trauma inflicted by violence and addiction.

Ask the Administration to strengthen cross-agency responses to violence and addiction, with a particular focus on having a more robust mental health response for our youth, families, and communities.

RESOLUTION

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Address Trauma Associated with Violence and Addiction

Mandatory minimum sentencing law and broken-windows policing can be attractive to elected leaders who desperately want to curb violent crime. These approaches do not bear out as successful crime-fighting strategies with sustained results. Furthermore, Maryland law already establishes mandatory minimums for certain gun violations and these laws have not disincentivized gun violence.

Fight attempts to re-introduce harmful and ineffective legislation that seeks to be "tough on crime," such as increasing mandatory minimums for gun violations.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Resist Regressive "Tough On Crime" Laws

Council President Scott supported charter amendment 16-0672 which allowed for the creation of a small and local business enterprise procurement preference. After this was approved, the Council passed an ordinance creating a Small Local Business Enterprise Procurement Preference, which I also supported. Unfortunately, the City has yet to implement this program. The ordinance allows a 10% preference for local and small businesses.

Propose solutions that increase opportunities for small businesses and hold oversight hearings to encourage agencies to use thie small, local business preference.

ADVOCACY & INITIATIVES

SAFER, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Implement Small, Local Business Preference

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