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Council President Scott and Councilmembers Sneed, Cohen, and Schleifer Call for Fire Company Funding

Council President Scott and Councilmembers Sneed, Cohen, and Schleifer Call for Fire Company Funding

BALTIMORE, MD (May 7, 2020) -- Today, at 5:30 PM, City Council President Brandon Scott, Councilmembers Shannon Sneed, Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, and Zeke Cohen will hold a press conference at Engine Company No. 46 to call on Mayor Young’s Administration to ensure funding for fire companies. 

In the Mayor’s most recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, presented to the Board of Estimates on Wednesday, May 6th, the administration proposes relocating personnel from two fire department companies to reduce spending. Council President Scott and Councilmembers Sneed, Cohen, and Schleifer believe essential services like fire department companies must be fully funded. 

“COVID-19 is laying bare the inequalities that have plagued our city for generations,” said Council President Scott. “Our response cannot be to make those disparities worse. There will be budget cuts; everyone understands that. But we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. We cannot balance the budget by closing fire companies.”

“The last thing we should do during a global pandemic is cut from public safety.  Regardless of the call volumes, our firefighters are saving lives.  We should not allow any lives to be risked,” said Councilman Shleiffer.

“To cut critical fire services during a global pandemic is irresponsible. Our working women and men deserve better,” said Councilman Cohen.

"As Chairwoman of the Labor Committee, it is my duty to advocate for the working people of Baltimore City. That includes the employees of the Baltimore City government. I understand the City is facing an economic hardship, but balancing the budget cannot come at the cost of our first responders,” said Councilwoman Sneed. “It is never the right time to cut funding to essential services, but to cut funding during a public health crisis is harmful to City residents who depend on emergency medical services."

See the Fiscal 2021 Executive Summary here, which documents the City's investments for the upcoming year and the impact of COVID-19 on the budget. 

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