Just days before Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore, the city’s newly sworn-in City Council voted unanimously to condemn the president-elect for his divisive and hateful campaign rhetoric.
In its first official act of its new session, the Baltimore City Council voted 15–0 on Thursday in favor of a measure introduced by councilman Ryan Dorsey to denounce comments made by Trump earlier this year, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The resolution reads, in part, that:
The Council joins elected bodies from cities across our nation and the majority of Americans who oppose and condemn the false narrative and scapegoating rhetoric promoted by President-Elect Donald Trump [and] opposes and condemns President-Elect Donald Trump’s use, approval, and/or encouragement of rhetoric and threats targeting New Americans, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, women, persons of color, LGBTQ Americans, Americans with disabilities, and other groups targeted by President-Elect Trump or those who will be unfairly targeted and scapegoated in the future. Acts of violence have already been committed by supporters and others emboldened by President-Elect Trump’s rhetoric, and these communities remain at increased risk of violence, harassment, and discrimination as a result.
It goes on to express solidarity with “historically disenfranchised, marginalized, and oppressed persons” and pledges to “[double] down on progressive policies that recognize that diversity is not simply our strength relied upon today, but the fuel that propels us into a future filled with promise.”
“Trump routinely made wrongheaded statements about African-Americans in the United States,” Dorsey explained as he introduced the measure. “Here in Maryland, he referred to youths in Baltimore as having ‘no spirit’.”
Trump has repeatedly referenced violence in Baltimore, oftentimes attributing it to gangs of undocumented immigrants, while providing no evidence to substantiate his claims. And at a campaign stop in June 2015, when asked about race relations, he told attendees at a Maryland Republican Party event that “there’s no spirit, there’s killings on an hourly basis, virtually, in places like Baltimore and Chicago and many other places.”
Dorsey, who was elected in November and sworn in this week, reportedly introduced his measure to enthusiastic applause from the audience during the council’s meeting.
Despite the measure’s unanimous adoption, there are some in the area who see Dorsey’s act as potentially dangerous for the city. Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College, described the move as “boneheaded,” telling the Sun:
For the council in a city that needs aid desperately and on the eve of hosting the president-elect, it is sort of mind boggling that you would do this.
Eberly’s naysaying, however, seemed nowhere to be found in the Baltimore City Council chambers, where Dorsey’s measure was reportedly met with cheers and applause.