Cohen said, “We can’t do this anymore. There can’t be other Devontes. We have to end the violence.”
Cohen expressed his sympathy for the family’s loss.
Zeke Cohen, a member of the executive appointments committee, announced that he wouldn’t be able to support Fitzgerald without seeing the results of the mayor’s vetting.
Cohen said he asked Fitzgerald personally to release the information, but was rebuffed and told to file a Freedom of Information request.
But a third council member — Zeke Cohen — announced Wednesday that he would not be able to vote in favor of Fitzgerald unless he can review the background investigation report.
Cohen described a testy interaction when he asked Fitzgerald on Tuesday to share the file.
Cohen said Fitzgerald told him to submit a Freedom of Information Act request for any material that is publicly available and expressed frustration that the process in Baltimore was “more intensive than he had experienced before.”
“Baltimore is a tough town and anyone who wants to lead the police department needs to understand that our city is at a moment where people are demanding transparency and engagement,” Cohen said.
“He didn’t seem angry. He just seemed a little frustrated that I was asking for what I think he perceived to be personal information.”
City Councilman Zeke Cohen, who organized the event, said that the commission would need to address concentrated poverty in Baltimore. And, he noted, you can’t talk about the poverty in Baltimore without addressing racism.
The murder of 11 Jews in a synagogue on the Sabbath is the devastating consequence of our decaying national discourse. Hate speech is wielded by profiteers and politicians whose goal is to divide, devalue and dehumanize. They conjure mythical hordes of black, brown and Middle Eastern “barbarians” invading our southern border. The dog-whistle has become a bullhorn. And people like the Pittsburgh shooter are listening.
“Anyone who comes to do violence, we do not want that there and people are going to be held accountable,” Zeke Cohen said.
“Our city is taking steps towards becoming more transparent and open,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Councilman Zeke Cohen, who represents Southeast Baltimore. “This legislation places Baltimore at the forefront of lobbying reform.”
The council is also set to issue a final vote on a bill from Councilman Zeke Cohen (D-District 1) to set more stringent transparency rules for lobbyists in city government. The legislation requires them to file disclosure reports twice a year (it was originally four times per year, but that mark was cut in half at an August hearing) and the city’s ethics board to post all reports online within 30 days. Lobbyists who violate the rule would face a three-year ban.
The Transparency in Lobbying Act (18-0230) was ratified on third and final reader tonight.
The bill aims to make it easier to identify what parties are lobbying City Hall officials. It also requires lobbyists to file reports of their activities twice a year rather than annually.
The Baltimore Ethics Board is required to post those reports online within 30 days, with the first reports due on or before June 1, 2019, and to potentially ban violators from lobbying in the city for three years.
At an earlier work session, bill sponsor Zeke Cohen fended off an amendment that would have expanded the definition of a lobbyist to include community activists.
The program provides summer jobs for youth in both the private and government sectors, but Cohen says unlike Youth Works, “This is Working” is not just about summer employment.
“We want to make sure the summer work experience is robust,” says Cohen. “That it is not just work a job for five-weeks but is work, but also learn.”
Introduced by 1st District Councilman Zeke Cohen, the bill would also require reports to be available to the public online within 30 days.
Bill 18-0230 would “place Baltimore on the national forefront of lobbying reform,” Cohen said, addressing an audience dominated by activists who advocate for low-income workers, the homeless, students, black women, water affordability and other causes.
“We can show that at the local level, we are listening to the citizen we serve, and not just those that can afford to hire a lawyer or a lobbyist,” Cohen said.
On Tuesday, Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen was sponsoring the Transparency in Lobbying Act to the City Council.
"What this legislation will do is make it easier for the public to know what's going on inside the halls of city hall," explained Cohen. "Specifically, it would create an online database where lobbyists would report when they have been meeting with legislators, it would create a harsher penalty for lobbyists who violate the ethics code, and it would force lobbyists to affirmatively disclose who they are and who they represent."
Councilman Zeke Cohen echoed Clarke’s sentiment. He said he wants the city to take “a hard look” at adding railings, but that he wants to look at the transportation department’s full plan before judging.
“We absolutely have to take the safety concerns of folks like the Schroeders seriously,” he said.
“It’s not a great way to do business.”
Councilman Zeke Cohen said his office has fielded 330 constituent complaints about water. He said the city needs to make some changes in order to help citizens.
"Water is a human right. We should move to an income-based billing system so that no one lives in fear of having their water shut off," Cohen said.
“Baltimore cannot afford to continue down this path,” said Councilperson Zeke Cohen (D-1) at the rally. “Water is a human right.”
City Council members Zeke Cohen and Shannon Sneed joined faith leaders and labor advocates at the rally to denounce the rate increases and the practice of sending homes and churches to tax sale to collect the debt and possibly force foreclosure.
City Councilman Zeke Cohen said the sign is antithetical to “a welcoming city.”
“This bigotry is emboldened by our President who is comfortable ripping families apart,” Cohen said. “I represent and live in a community where you can hear languages from all over the world. It’s beautiful.”
To celebrate his 20th birthday in April, Diamonte Howard planned to show his mother, Tamica, his acceptance letter to Wilberforce University. He would be the first in his family to attend college. He would attain his degree and then come back to Baltimore and start a business. He would lift his family out of poverty. He would make sure everyone in the O’Donnell Heights Housing Project could get a good paying job. He would make sure all of the children in the neighborhood had safe places to play and enough food to eat.
Instead, Diamonte was shot and killed outside of his home, a week before his birthday.
A Baltimore City councilman has kicked off the This is Working summer jobs program in which businesses in his district provide employment for students.
Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen on Wednesday kicked off a second year of the This is Working summer jobs program in which businesses in his Southeast Baltimore district provide employment for students.
"This is Working" is a program endorsed by City Councilman Zeke Cohen for large and small businesses in his 1st District that encompasses southeast Baltimore's communities from Fells Point to Highlandtown. Some of the summer jobs will even be located at City Hall as aides in city council offices.
“Children in Baltimore often face disadvantages beyond their control, and we need to give them every opportunity and resource possible to go to and through college,” said Councilman Zeke Cohen, chairman of the council's Education and Youth Committee. “CollegeBound is a great, evidence-based program that’s moving the ball down the field for our kids.”
Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen plans to introduce a bill that would tighten restrictions on lobbyists
City Councilman Zeke Cohen plans to introduce legislation Monday that would tighten restrictions on lobbyists in Baltimore and require the ethics board to post lobbying disclosure forms online for the public to view.
Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen and Delegate Brooke Lierman say trucks continue to barrel through the southeast district, despite the addition of the cameras and signs.
“They can pay $240 on a first offense,” said Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen. “The message we’re trying to send is these are residential communities and we expect them to be treated as such.”
Instead of letting her grief consume her, Tina decided to use it as fuel. City Councilman Zeke Cohen reached out to see what he could do to help her with her plan to help the at-risk youth in Baltimore.
“I sat down in his office and went off like a rocket,” she said. “He just sat there and listened to everything I had to say. Afterward, he told me he had someone I needed to meet.”
Baltimore city councilman Zeke Cohen told the Sun that in Southeast Baltimore, the area he represents, a small-business owner, a popular barber and a father dropping off a child at school were among the arrests.
"First, we lost a barber, then a small-business owner. Finally, a father was handcuffed and detained after dropping off his 9-year-old at school. The child's mother is back in Honduras. What kind of a country do we live in that would orphan a child in order to enforce its broken immigration laws?" Cohen said.
Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen backed both families, helping launch the scholarship.
"It's a clarion call to unite along the lines that divide us," he said.