(BALTIMORE, MD, 6/12/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today submitted testimony in support of a charter amendment that would enable Baltimore City council members to propose more expansive adjustments to the Ordinance of Estimates or operating budget for the city, as part of a multi-faceted strategy to encourage police reform.
The bill would allow council members to “amend the Ordinance of Estimates to increase items of appropriation or add items for new purpose subject to certain limitations.” Currently, only the Mayor has that authority; council members may only reduce items of appropriations.
READ: CAIR Testimony
SEE: Charter Amendment 19-0379 Ordinance of Estimates – Baltimore City
The testimony. submitted by CAIR’s Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry, states in part:
“It’s discouraging that, as our nation is reeling from protests after George Floyd’s murder and police violence continues to disproportionately target America’s Black communities, the Baltimore City Council budget you are currently considering allots over one-half billion dollars towards policing – more than triple the amount earmarked for housing/community development, healthcare, jobs/employment, education and civil rights combined.
“My organization strongly supports reducing funding for policing and re-investing into social service programs and community initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for Baltimore City residents. As elected representatives, councilmembers should be able to reduce, increase, re-allocate or eliminate any of the amounts for items of appropriations in the city’s proposed Ordinance of Estimates within the restrictions designated within this charter amendment. We believe this will ensure greater oversight and accountability in terms of spending.”
The testimony comes amid a growing call for the city council to “defund the police” as it participates in budget hearings this week.
SEE: Baltimore City Council takes on calls to ‘defund the police’ as part of Friday’s budget hearing
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.