Council to vote on
In one of the most contentious issues in years, rhe bill to make Howard County a "sanctuary" county has engendered widespread support and even more widespread opposition. Hundreds testified, and no doubt hundreds will be present in the Council chamber when the five members vote on the bill tonight, at its session starting at 5 pm in the George Howard Building.
County Executive, Allan Kittleman, and councilman Greg Fox are on record opposing the bill, introduced by councilmembers Calvin Ball and
Jen Terrasa. The two swing votes on the Council are Jon Weinstein and Mark Kay Sigaty. County Executive Kittleman has said he will veto the bill, if passed by the council.
"I am not willing to jeopardize existing programs and services which benefit all Howard County residents to adopt a label that would not change any of the policies and practices that we already have in place
," Kittleman said
Delegation members weigh in
Although this is a county issue, members of our delegation have expressed opinions, including Senator Gail Bates and myself who oppose the measure.
The issue provoked a highly emotional response from Delegate Clarence Lam. In response to the testimony of many in the Asian community in opposition to the bill, he said in an email, "
I am deeply, deeply disappointed with the Asian American community. . . .I think the perspectives I heard were shortsighted, shamefully selfish and self-serving, and not in the general best interests of everyone in our community."
The email continued, saying "
we need to go out of our way to be welcoming to others, and doing otherwise in this climate is disgraceful, and I am embarrassed for us and at having to make excuses for the Asian American community." Delegate Lam acknowledged that his words sound strong, but said, "I feel strongly and cannot understate me disappointment."