BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Violence and trauma go hand-in-hand, and unfortunately, Baltimore City is plagued with both. In a city with hundreds of homicides year after year, a room full of children shouted “I come from a city where you try to survive.”
What would have passed as the Trauma Responsive Care Act was signed into law Sunday as the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act.
The Baltimore City Council voted to rename the bill for Cummings.
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings told a story her late husband shared with her, a conversation he had with a young man during the riots.
“He told Elijah every day I wake up in this city and I feel like I wake up in a coffin and I spend my day trying to claw my way out.” Rockeymoore Cummings said.
Councilman Zeke Cohen, who renamed the Trauma Responsive Care Act to honor the dedication Cummings had to his city, said a shooting last year has driven him this far.
“Children walking home from school had to duck for cover to avoid being shot, blood stained the pavement.” Councilman Cohen said.
42 percent of Baltimore children experience three or more traumatic events before adulthood.
And it is children who have been the voices pushing this bill forward.
“We can’t wait around and expect change to magically happen, we have to go after change ourselves- look it straight in the eye and say I’m coming for you.” a student said.
The bill will fund a citywide team who will be trained in trauma response; identifying traumatic situations, treating symptoms and reevaluating policies in city agencies to reduce trauma.
Councilman Cohen has yet to name a cost for the new programs.