The following is from a press release on January 5th:
“These trees, they are warriors. And these forests, they are an army in our fight against climate change. Not to defeat climate change, but just to survive it. This Council heard from hundreds of our constituents about this bill over a holiday week, in the midst of pandemic surge, supporting our original votes and this veto override. Why don’t their voices matter?” – Councilwoman Liz Walsh
Ellicott City, MD (January 5, 2021) – Last night, the Howard County Council voted 3-2 not to override County Executive Calvin Ball’s veto of CB78-2021, a bill designed to protect more “Big Trees” by lowering one measure of those eligible for highest-priority conservation, from thirty-inches diameter to twenty-four. Council Chair Dr. Opel Jones (D2), Vice Chair Christiana Rigby (D3), Councilwoman Deb Jung (D4), and bill sponsor Councilwoman Liz Walsh (D1) voted for the original bill on December 6, 2021. After Executive Ball’s December 14, 2021 veto, two Councilmembers then reversed their votes — Chair Jones and Vice Chair Rigby.
This office is grateful to the more than two hundred constituents from every district in the County who emailed the Council, pleading for us to override Executive Ball’s veto. Over 95% of what we received supported the original bill as passed by a seeming veto-proof majority of the Council.
One constituent urged the Council: “We’re out of time on climate change. It is the number one issue that we face. The best we can do to protect our children’s future is to adapt to the change that is upon us. Conserving trees is critical to that adaptation.”
Another constituent wrote: “Planting trees is not nearly as helpful to mitigating climate change and nourishing wildlife as protecting those trees that are already growing, sequestering carbon, filtering groundwater, and aging long enough to flower and seed for the hundreds of species of native trees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife who rely on them.”
In thanking all of the individual constituents and conservationists and environmental and grassroots organizations who have steadfastly supported this and other D1 legislative efforts to act now, preserve what little’s left now, Councilwoman Walsh promised: “We will not go away. We will not stop. We must see change.”
To see Councilwoman Walsh’s full statement from last night’s hearing, visit https://youtu.be/JMHCV4EmMQI.
To read our office’s December 30th press release, visit https://conta.cc/3Hp6t0I.
To learn more about CB78-2021, visit https://apps.howardcountymd.gov/olis/LegislationDetail.aspx?LegislationID=12873.
See this article for additional details: Howard County Council vote to override County Executive’s veto of CB78-2021 fails on January 4th