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Communities United: Committee Night & Potluck

  • Communities United 2221 Maryland Avenue Baltimore, MD, 21218 United States (map)
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Committee Night & Potluck
April 18

6:00 to 8:30pm
Communities United Office
2221 Maryland Ave, 2nd floor

Potluck at 6, meeting begins at 6:30, breakout workgroups at 7. Discuss and plan for the fight for a moral #BaltimoreBudget and more! Join them to roll up your sleeves and get busy! Families with children are welcome.

Below is a message from a recent email.

This past Tuesday night at the Board of Estimates Annual Taxpayer’s Night there was ONE message we heard repeated over and over again: Baltimore must spend less on police and more on what communities need to be safe and thrive. Communities United leaders started with this message, and it was echoed throughout the testimony before Acting Mayor Young, Acting City Council President Middleton, City Comptroller Pratt, and the rest of the Board of Estimates. #BaltimoreBudget #BaltimoreTaxes

“Our city’s budget is ‘a moral document,’” Communities United’s Rafiki Morris declared to Board. He presented our analysis of the proposed FY2020 budget.  For every $1.00 of its general fund that Baltimore spends on police, we spend 53 cents on schools, 15 cents on Housing and Community Development, 13 cents Human Services, just over a nickel on jobs ($.06) and only a penny on Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health! What is the moral statement this budget is making?

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This is an updated analysis from the 2017 report, Freedom to Thrive, which found Baltimore leading the pack nationwide in per capita police spending by at least 25%!

“If we divested 25% of police budget and invested into creation of pathways to [home] ownership, it would address many underlying causes of crime in Baltimore in ways policing alone never will,” Communities United leader Dean Dodson testified. “Take advantage of the unique political situation we find ourselves in, by taking some additional time to reconsider this budget and what it says about our values as a city. This budget doesn’t reflect my values as a city resident.”

Communities United member Gassoh Goba expressed the outrage felt widely among our members: “It’s sickening that departments dedicated to employment, human services, youth violence prevention, substance use disorder, mental health and housing are appropriated pennies for every dollar given to BPD!”

“I was devastated to find that for every dollar we spend on policing, we spend only 51 cents on Baltimore City Public Schools,” said Shannon Wilson, Frederick Douglas High School senior and student from the first class of CU’s Youth Organizing Leadership Academy. “It is unacceptable for our budget to say that it is more important for you to build prisons for me than it is for you to build schools for me. If we divested 25% of the police budget and invested it into schools like mine, it would change the outcomes of students.”