Green Party’s Muller Paz seeks to unseat Democrat Stokes in Baltimore’s only competitive City Council race

On the first day of virtual school, only a handful of Franca Muller Paz’s students logged into her Spanish class. Many just didn’t have a way to get online as they isolated at home, the coronavirus pandemic unplugging them from their educations. As a public school teacher, Muller Paz had an unvarnished view of Baltimore’s inequities long before COVID-19 hit. Even when she could teach students in person before the pandemic struck last spring, her classrooms didn’t always have functional heat. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore City Council passes bill to rename Columbus Monument

The Baltimore City Council has passed a bill to change the name of an obelisk in Northeast Baltimore from the Columbus Monument to the "Police Violence Victims' Monument." According to The Baltimore Sun, the council still voted 10-4 at its Monday night meeting to approve the legislation. The bill still needs another vote and the mayor’s signature before going into effect. During the meeting, Councilman Leon Pinkett wondered if a new monument should be built instead of renaming an old one. (WBAL)

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Md. prosecutors, police officials at odds with some proposed police reforms

A proposal to track and make public complaints against police officers is drawing mixed reviews from police unions, prosecutors and chiefs of police. Democratic legislators are sponsoring more than a dozen proposals intended to improve accountability in law enforcement, which Republican senators characterize as patently anti-police. Included in that package is one that would track all complaints against police officers in Maryland and make that database public. (Daily Record)

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Senate committee gears up for possible fight over police accountability bills

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chair Will Smith (D-Montgomery) is moving forward with a series of hearings on bills aimed at addressing police misconduct that Republicans claim would hinder law enforcement at a time of near-unprecedented violence in Baltimore City. “It’s a national conversation that has been inflamed by recent high-profile incidents of police misconduct. And largely within communities of color. The point of these hearings; these are very rare-interim session hearings-very rare-is to put our committee in a position to take quick action once we come back in January,” Smith told MarylandReporter.com in a phone interview on Monday. (Md Reporter)

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Former Baltimore mayors oppose government restructuring proposals introduced by the likely next mayor

A panel of Baltimore’s former mayors spoke out against two proposals to restructure local government, both of which have been championed by the Democratic nominee for the city’s top job. Former mayors Kurt Schmoke, Martin O’Malley, Sheila Dixon and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined the Greater Baltimore Committee Monday morning for a virtual panel to discuss what they learned during their tenures. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore City Inspector General talks about shining a light on wasted taxpayer money

Isabel Cumming has been Baltimore City’s Inspector General since January 2018. In her interview with C4 and Brian Nehman, Cumming said her office has pinpointed more than $4 million in taxpayer money being wasted since she took office. When it comes to being an inspector general, and the purpose of the office, Cumming said the following, “Our mission is to be the people’s investigator. We follow the evidence in pursuit of truth, with an objective mind, without prejudice, and regardless of politics.” (WBAL)

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Baltimore City Council bill seeks to block any Wheelabrator trash incinerator contract renewal

Some Baltimore City Council members are seeking to block the city’s law department from reaching any deal to renew a contract with the towering waste incinerator that pumps smoke into the city’s sky. Democratic City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke introduced a bill Monday night that would bar Baltimore from entering into contracts that authorize the use of trash incinerators or other waste-to-fuel plants. (Balt Sun)

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Updated Maryland unemployment insurance portal provides little relief for some claimants

Many Marylanders who anxiously awaited the launch of BEACON 2.0, the makeover of the state’s unemployment insurance web portal that debuted Sunday, find it’s still not helping resolve their difficulties with claims. The new site was designed to provide a “one-stop shop” for those requesting benefits from the state, but several claimants said the new portal looks and acts only marginally different from its predecessor. They said it offers no solutions to some of the same problems that have dogged the Maryland Department of Labor since the coronavirus pandemic first reached the state in March leading to hundreds of thousands of unemployment insurance claims. (Balt Sun)

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