REDUCING THE NUMBER OF BALTIMORE CITY
PEACE supports the current petition for a proposed charter amendment in Baltimore City to reduce the current number of Baltimore City Council districts from 14 to 8. The change in reducing council districts will save Baltimore City taxpayers millions of dollars each year to be used on other important projects. The much needed change will also create a more responsive city government that is representative of Baltimore City’s population size. The official petition language is below:
To reduce the number of Baltimore City Council districts from 14 to 8. Reducing the number of council districts will save significant taxpayer dollars and resources for Baltimore City, yet still provide adequate representation of constituents as 8 districts more closely aligns with the number of council districts in other Maryland local government jurisdictions with similar populations. Upon approval of a charter amendment modifying the number of City Council districts, the Mayor shall prepare and present a plan for council redistricting to the City Council based on the most recent census, in time for the next municipal election following the approval of the charter amendment. The City Council shall have 60 days to approve or modify the plan. The amendment modifies Sections 2 and 7 of Article III – City Council of the Baltimore City Charter. Upon ratification of the amendment by the voters of Baltimore City, the amendment and redistricting plan shall first be in effect for the 2028 Baltimore City elections.
Benefits to Baltimore City Residents in Reducing the Number of Council Districts
This petition represents local district reform in Baltimore City that is long overdue and much needed to help save taxpayers multi-millions of dollars every year.
Reducing the number of city council districts will save millions of dollars for Baltimore City taxpayers every year by eliminating excess and unneeded council salaries, annual pensions, additional staff costs, annual benefits, travel costs, administrative costs and much more. These savings can be spent on other much needed services in Baltimore City to better serve citizens.
Reducing the size of the city council reflects the ongoing declining Baltimore City population and number of city residents which is now under 600,000.
Reducing the council districts would more closely align the number of Baltimore City Council members with the current number of 7 council members in the surrounding county councils, including Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford Counties.
This much-needed change will also create a smarter and more efficient Baltimore City government for its residents.
Reducing the number of Baltimore City Council members was done years ago in 2002 sponsored by the League of Women Voters and others as a similar ballot issue. Voters overwhelmingly supported the ballot issue by reducing the number of council members from 18 to 14.
It’s time to give the power back to the people of Baltimore!
Baltimore City 576,000 Currently has 14 Council members, plus council president
Baltimore County 850,000 7 council members
AA County 590,000 7 council members
Howard County 335,000 5 council members