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Keeping tabs on the City Council's activities so you don't have to


By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 12/5/2007

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6, for the swearing-in ceremony of the 70th Baltimore City Council.

On the Agenda for Nov. 26

07-0346R-Baltimore City Observance of World AIDS Day Dec. 1 has been designated "World AIDS Day" since about 1988. It's supposed to encourage us all to focus attention on the fight against AIDS, which has killed some 25 million people since 1981.

Public Interest Grade: C This was the only new resolution introduced this session (excluding the consent calendar), and it's full of scary statistics. For example, with 40.4 cases per 100,000 residents, Baltimore has the second-highest AIDS rate in the nation, and AIDS is the leading cause of death among African-Americans aged 25-44 in Maryland. "We cannot rest on our laurels and think that the issue is passé or gone by," said 8th District Councilwoman Helen Holton, who sponsored the resolution and got it passed immediately. But if AIDS is such a crisis in Baltimore, then why was this resolution passed just a few days before the big day? And why is there so little information about it on the council's web site, or the Health Department's web site (flu is the top disease there as of now-risk is "minimal")? And just what, exactly, are any of us supposed to do? The time for "AIDS awareness" really has gone by; nearly everyone knows about AIDS and how to prevent it. The trick seems to be in getting the poor, drug-desperate people most at risk to stop taking chances-and that requires resources. But here it is again anyway. Drug addicts: Don't share your works-or if you've got to make it with a used syringe, clean it, then bleach it. Everybody: Use a condom every time you have sex with someone who may have had sex with someone else since testing negative. You have been tested, right?

City Council Quote of the Week

"I think I could find a little backyard that could use some beautification. We'll have to talk about that."
-Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
to Jerry Lynch, a young man arranging a city park cleanup near Rawlings-Blake's Northwest Baltimore home. After Lynch's presentation, Rawlings-Blake made it clear she was joking, and added that she "didn't have anything to do with the selection of this area."

City Council Fact of the Week

The City Council completed its meeting in 35 minutes this week.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6, for the swearing-in ceremony of the 70th Baltimore City Council.

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