TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A ReOpen Baltimore County rally is planned for Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m.
According to their press release, the group is protesting what they call the “unconstitutional overreach of local government over the lives and livelihoods of law abiding citizens.”
They believe proposed legislation would allow the county executive the ability to extend the county’s stay-at-home order an additional 45 days is “improper and unconstitutional.”
But the county never had a stay at home order; it followed the governor’s mandate. Instead, the state of emergency legislation being proposed would make sure the county is eligible for federal disaster relief funds.
“Baltimore County remains on the front-lines of this crisis. We continue to ensure the health and safety of our residents while we also get our economy back on track. Having partially re-opened, Baltimore County is expanding community testing, contact tracing, and the availability of personal protective equipment which will allow us to continue reopening as fast and as safely as we can,” county officials said in a statement.
But protesters want businesses and houses of worship to reopen in Baltimore County now. They fear that Baltimore County could stay closed through the Fourth of July holiday.
“Local governments across the country have used state of emergency declarations for decades for natural disasters and civil unrest, but they never had the authority to make people stay at home, wear face masks or shut down small businesses and houses of worship,” organizer Tony Campbell said in the press release. “This action will set a very dangerous precedent allowing local government to supersede state law.”
ReOpen Baltimore County wants residents to call council members to ask them to vote NO on the extension of the shutdown Thursday.
The rally is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday in Towson at the corner of Chesapeake and Washington Avenues. It will be held rain or shine.
Campbell told WJZ they are expecting hundreds of people at the rally and hopes to see signs.
The group is telling them to bring a mask.
“People should let their voice be hear, but make sure we stay safe,” he said.