In their first official act, the new Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a resolution criticizing President-Elect Donald Trump’s “divisive and scapegoating rhetoric, rooted in hate and prejudice.” The resolution was inspired in part by a similar resolution passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on November 8, 2016. The San Francisco resolution reaffirmed its status as a sanctuary city, while expressing support for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and religious freedom.
Although Baltimore’s resolution was met with applause upon passing from those in attendance, it was opposed by Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh, who has expressed a desire to work with Trump to improve Baltimore infrastructure. However, one of the resolution’s co-sponsors, Councilperson Kris Burnett brushed aside criticism in an interview, stating “no one is above critique.” Burnett explained that he co-sponsored the resolution, because
“[…]there was a lot of divisive rhetoric during the campaign trail by the Trump campaign, as it related to people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, Muslims — I mean, pretty much the floor kept getting lower and lower and, you know, who was next? Who was going to be, you know, something terrible said about them or their culture?”
Many have been horrified by Trump’s rhetoric, campaign promises, and appointments. Local resolutions, like the ones passed in Baltimore and San Francisco are important tools of resistance. Local ordinances, which have the force of law, are even better.
In order to assist local activists in these efforts, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation has a assembled a toolkit that can be used by local activists. The toolkit includes a model resolution, which would put your town on record as being a welcoming place for Muslims, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and others targeted by the Trump agenda. Additionally, the toolkit has two ordinances which would limit your local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal intelligence and immigration officials, thus setting up a major roadblock for Trump to actually enact his agenda, as well as, prevent them from spying on political or religious activity, discriminatory profiling, or violating online privacy.