JUFJ has been working with partners on police accountability since 2015, in both Baltimore City and Baltimore County. In this moment of national outrage and uprising due to racist police violence, we are more called than ever to truly transform public safety in our region. Decades of work to reform police departments has proven ineffective. We must couple reform with a transition away from a reliance on police to an investment in Black communities and development of alternatives to policing.
In the summer of 2020, we worked with Organizing Black and our other partners from the Campaign for Justice, Safety and Jobs to reduce the Baltimore City Police Department’s budget in order to invest in life-giving services for the people of our city. We also organized to pass city Ballot Question F, which authorized members of the City Council – not just the Mayor – to reallocate budget funds. This ballot question successfully passed, meaning that our advocacy on the city budget can now also include reinvestment in crucial services such as housing, education, and community safety.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN
For Baltimore City residents:
Charter Amendment 19-0379 has been signed by Mayor Young and approved by the Board of Estimates, so that it will now appear on the November ballot. This Charter Amendment will grant City Council the authority to reallocate funds in the budget, not just make cuts. Stay tuned for ways to take action!
To read more about what a Charter Amendment is and what it would do, click here.
For Baltimore County residents:
Councilman Julian Jones, in coordination with the County Executive, introduced a bill that would hold Baltimore County police accountable to the community, restrict use of force, and to make sure that officers who do the right thing are protected from retaliation. Unfortunately, this bill was extremely watered down and did not shift the balance of power away from police into the hands of the community.
JUFJ supported the bill only with the following amendments:
- Extend whistleblower protections
- Require that the Chief of police publicly presents an annual public report before the County Council
- Specify that trained civilians will be appointed as voting members on BCoPD disciplinary hearing boards
Unfortunately, the Baltimore County Council passed this bill WITHOUT the strengthening amendments. Click here to see the final bill language. Check back later for further actions to take for accountable policing in Baltimore County.
We’re making calls in Baltimore County for police accountability. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to pitch in.
Stay tuned for upcoming events.
Click the button to see the entire councils contact information.
January 21 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Join the JUFJ Montgomery County Team as we watch the worksession for Bill 45-20. The bill would implement recommendations from advocates and the Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) to strengthen the Montgomery County Police Department’s (MCPD) data collection. We’ll start with a background of the …
January 21 | 11:00 am – 8:30 pm
Join JUFJ’s Maryland Team to virtually watch the state Judicial Proceedings Committee hear testimony on reforming the Maryland Public Information Act, which would make police misconduct investigations more transparent. The bill hearing will be sometime between 11 AM and 8:30 PM. Register and you wil…
January 27 | 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Join JUFJers from across Maryland for a call at 8:00 PM to discuss our ongoing issue campaign work. If you’re new to JUFJ work or want to schmooze and catch up with fellow members, join at 7:30 PM.
January 31 | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Join JUFJ for our virtual DC 2021 Kickoff! The JUFJ community will come together to talk about the issues we’ll be focusing on in 2021, how you can get involved, and how our Jewish values inform our work.