When Mayor Catherine Pugh gave her inaugural address this week, she told Gov. Larry Hogan she wanted to work with President-elect Donald Trump once he takes office. When the City Council met for their first session a day later, one of their first orders of business was to swiftly adopt a resolution denouncing him.
The city’s 15 council members, eight of them brand new, were sworn into office yesterday at City Hall. During their first session last night, newcomer Councilman Ryan Dorsey, representing District 3 in Northeast Baltimore, jumped in head-first by sponsoring a resolution that condemns what Trump has said about Baltimore’s young people and LGBT people, religious minorities, women and a host of other groups around the country in the past.
“Donald Trump’s campaign struck a shocking tone from the start,” Dorsey said on the council floor. He said Trump’s “shocking language made him look un-electable even to experts, but many Americans, most of them white, were either unbothered or openly supportive of Trump’s rhetoric.” He eventually got to the tension generated by Trump’s past comments about Baltimore. “Trump routinely made wrongheaded statements about African-Americans in the U.S. Here in Maryland, he referred to youths in Baltimore as having ‘no spirit,’” a reference to remarks made by Trump in 2015. To pile on, he noted that Trump’s rhetoric “normalized sexual assault” and that his “economic argument is intertwined with racism.”
After Dorsey called upon the whole council to adopt the resolution, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke seconded it and the whole council approved it unanimously.
Here’s footage from the council meeting. Dorsey’s address starts around the 15:15 mark:
The move was an interesting choice, given that it carries only symbolic effect and doesn’t exactly fall in line with Mayor Pugh’s expressed wishes to work with Trump to secure funding for infrastructure improvements. Lawmakers in other cities, such as San Francisco, St. Paul, Minn., and Philadelphia have formally denounced our new president-elect, but not directly after their mayors started off their time in office by saying they wanted to remain on his good side.
Also of note is that Trump will be in town in about 24 hours to watch the Army-Navy game at M&T Bank Stadium. He has some fans here in the city, though clearly not in the council chambers. There are also rumblings of protests scheduled to take place right downtown. Perhaps he’ll have a diplomatic, well-worded response for his detractors here in Baltimore, though that hasn’t exactly proven to be one of his strengths in the past.
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