Little Italy gets Baltimore’s first “pedestrian-activated crossing beacon”

Listening to and working with the residents, DOT and City Councilman Zeke Cohen came up with the idea of the beacon.

Cohen said he was thrilled to see the project come full circle and observed that he had “lost track” of the number of accidents in the area. “This is how Baltimore gets better: government and community working side-by-side,” he said, in his address at the event.

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Young signs gender neutral bathroom ordinance

The legislation was sponsored by Council member Zeke Cohen. “A few months ago, the City Council passed a resolution in support of [Baltimore] City Schools policy JBB,” said Cohen. “That policy was passed by the School Board of Commissioners. When we introduced that resolution, we said that we would not ask the Baltimore City Schools to do something we wouldn’t do ourselves as a city.”  Cohen said this bill—making all publicly accessible, single occupancy restrooms in the City of Baltimore –gender inclusive is one step closer to fulfilling that commitment.

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Gender Inclusive Single-Stall Bathroom Bill Progresses Through Baltimore City Council

Zeke Cohen, the lead sponsor of the bill, says hearing of experiences like Jolicoeur’s and of many other trans Baltimoreans are part of what led him to introduce the bill.

“I think it is critically important that we, as legislators, listen to people who have been marginalized within our city,” Cohen said, “particularly our transgender and gender nonconforming communities who have often been victims of violence.”

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Gender-Neutral Bathroom Bill Unanimously Passes City Hearing

First District City Councilman Zeke Cohen, who is co-sponsoring the new legislation, said the gender-neutral, single-stall bathroom bill is an effort to extend the same bathroom accessibility now a part of the school system to all of Baltimore. “This is about creating a more welcoming, inclusive city in our public accommodations, particularly for our transgender community and our gender non-binary community,” Cohen said.

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Classical music with a cookout: O’Donnell Heights and Baltimore Symphony Musicians link up for community-healing event

In the aftermath, the neighborhood’s council representative, Councilman Zeke Cohen (1st District), said he and community leaders sought something to lift families’ spirits, if even for a day, and bring the neighborhood together. What they’ve come up with is a block party as unique as any in Baltimore, with a cookout, snowballs and games for the kids–and world-class orchestral musicians as the headlining entertainment.

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At school safety hearing, Baltimore officials discuss violence, role of social media, ways to address trauma

Councilman Zeke Cohen asked questions regarding the availability and effectiveness of school psychologists and mental health officials, calling on officials to examine whether the city’s worst schools “need more than one school psychologist” and to provide data about the current racial makeup of those officials.

“Too many of our kids … do not receive the mental health services they need,” Cohen said.

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Council unanimously passes resolution calling on school board to pass protections for trans students

City Councilman Zeke Cohen (1st District), the sponsor of the resolution, said on the floor that he met with both a transgender teacher and student who described a climate of harassment.

Cohen said the student contemplated suicide, and told him, “Councilman, we just want to be seen.”

“This policy is a step in the right direction toward letting our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and siblings know that they are not only seen, but loved,” Cohen said.

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Let’s not fight over scraps in the Kirwan Commission education plan

Across Maryland, we have allowed ourselves to be divided when it comes to funding our schools. Urban versus rural. Rich versus poor. Baltimore versus everyone. This zero-sum scramble for resources leaves all of our kids at a disadvantage. Over the past few years, Maryland’s schools have fallen in nationwide rankings. Our economy lags behind neighboring states. And we are not delivering on our potential to lift our most vulnerable citizens out of poverty. We must do better.

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