July 2021: Legislative update
Thanks to our 30+ neighbors who tuned in from your homes on this hot summer day in July! During our Community Meeting on July 12, 2021, we heard from our state delegates on Team 46, Brooke Lierman, Luke Clippinger, Bill Ferguson, and Robbyn Lewis. We also had a conversation with community members about expectations and considerations for our eventual return to in-person community meetings. We were so delighted that some neighbors tuned in for the first time after receiving the PPNA Outreach postcard in your mailbox--welcome! Read on to see what you missed; contact information and the full video recording is provided for your reference.
Baltimore Police Department (BPD): Thank you to Captain Danita Boyd and Sergeant Jemmot for your suggestions about the covered pavilion that is owned and operated by SE BPD. This is a space that could safely accommodate up to 25 people if PPNA chooses to host an outdoor Community Meeting. Contact Capt. Boyd with any issues relevant for BPD: Email: Danita.Boyd@baltimorepolice.org or Phone: 410-274-9108.
City Council President: Shaakira Gill is the Community Liaison for City Council President Nick Mosby. Contact: Shaakira.firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-692-7356
Department of Public Works (DPW): Larry Nunley is the DPW Community Liaison for District 1. Any issues or concerns for DPW? Submit a 311 request, and contact email@example.com to move your request forward.
Intern for Councilmember Zeke Cohen: Welcome to Luisina Kemanianleites! Contact Luisina with constituent concerns around District 1. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Phone: 410-396-4821.
Liquor License Board (BLLC): Matt Acchammer is the point of contact for the Baltimore City Liquor Board. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-241-6525. Click here to view the June Community Connection Newsletter from BLLC.
Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA): LaToya Eff is the point of contact for Community Relations at MTA. Contact: email@example.com
State’s Attorney’s Office: Welcome to Chaplain Telik Johnson, SE Community Liaison for the State’s Attorney’s Office! Contact Telik with questions or concerns for the State’s Attorney’s Office. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 410-855-5578.
Legislation regarding police misconduct:
Delegate Luke Clippinger is the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Contact Luke: email@example.com.
Police officers will have body cameras state-wide by 2025. There are changes to the Use of Force standards for police officers. Granted greater public access to police disciplinary files (aka Anton’s law).
Passed legislation to close the loophole on background checks for shotguns and rifles. Prior to 2020, there was no requirement for background checks. Then, we overrode the governor’s veto on this legislation in 2021.
Upcoming for future legislative sessions: “Ghost guns”: guns that are put together by kits, and do not have serial numbers or identifying characteristics, and they can be obtained without background checks.
Regarding local control of police in Baltimore City:
A workgroup was recently convened for putting local ballot issues to voters on this issue. This will be on the ballot in 2022.
The state legislature was able to pass a bill that gives the residents of Baltimore City the right to vote on this issue in 2022.Only the people of Baltimore City could vote to give control of BPD to the mayor and city council.
Health Equity Commission:
Delegate Robbyn Lewis is a PPNA Neighbor. In her delegate role, she is a specialist in health policy. Contact Robbyn: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We created a state-wide Health Equity Commission, bringing a health equity lens to public policy decisions, such as regarding land use, air quality, and environmental considerations.
Passed a landmark transportation funding bill this year. We passed the Transportation Protection Act, requiring the government to fully fund the Maryland Transit Authority.
Wealth and Recovery Act:
Senator Bill Ferguson is a PPNA Neighbor, and the Maryland Senate President. Contact Bill:email@example.com.
The Wealth and Recovery Act was the largest stimulus package that the state of Maryland has ever seen, and has a direct impact for low income families, small business owners, and artists, especially in the context of pandemic recovery.
History tells us that the years following a pandemic are the most creative and collaborative years in human history; it gives us the chance to recreate the world that we thought a lot about during our alone time in the pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan will allow our state to make some pretty incredible investments in our infrastructure, our human capital, and our public education.
Click here to view the End of Session Letter from Senator Ferguson.
Update from Dani DiPietro, Legislative Director for Del. Brook Lierman:
Pandemic relief to address unemployment
Transit Safety and Investment Act: Vetoed by the governor after session, legislature is working to override the veto
Office of Statewide Broadband: aiming to close the digital divide for all Marylanders
Click here to view the briefing with Brooke, featuring Delegate Jazz Lewis and Director Luke Jones of Maryland NORML regarding Marijuana policy in Maryland.
Contact Brooke: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-841-3319.
What are your expectations and considerations around planning our return to in-person meetings? What makes you feel safe in an in-person? What can PPNA do to create the most effective, safe space possible for community members?
It will be important that we continue to have virtual access to meetings for those who cannot attend in person.
Our neighbors are eager for in-person connection. 91% of attendees at the July 12 Community Meeting said “yes,” they would attend an in-person meeting.
We are open to creative solutions for in-person meeting options. In the basement at St. Elizabeth’s church, it can feel stuffy and hot, and it can be difficult to hear. The basement is also not wheelchair accessible. We will need a system for amplifying the speakers so that they can be heard more clearly.
Current CDC guidelines (as of July 2021), recommend three-foot social distancing and continuing to wear masks indoors.
There are serious concerns regarding the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. We encourage all of our neighbors to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Do you have an outdoor venue, speakers or microphone, or presentation equipment that PPNA could borrow for outdoor meetings? Contact email@example.com.