When students marched on Baltimore’s City Hall this week demanding action on gun control, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that she is planning to bus thousands of students to Washington later this month.
The March for Our Lives, scheduled for March 24, is being organized by survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, where 17 people were killed by a gunman on Valentine’s Day.
Here’s what we know about the plan:
- Pugh said Tuesday that it would cost $100,000 to provide 60 buses, lunch and t-shirts for about 3,000 students. At a news conference on Wednesday the mayor said she wanted “to get as much private dollars as we can” and asked if public money would be used said: “We’ll cross that bridge if we get to it.”
- Pugh and Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young both said the organizers of the event contacted the city for help. Pugh said Wednesday that the organizers told officials they had contacted Baltimore leaders because “There needs to be more diversity there for the march.”
- March 24 is a Saturday so Pugh said that by supporting the march she is not encouraging students to miss a day of school.
Pugh told reporters that she thought it was important that the city support students who want their voices to be heard, especially because she thinks the kind of gun violence that most affects young people in Baltimore is often lost in national debates about gun control.
“While our conversation may be lost in this national debate, the pain and suffering our children are experiencing are still something that we need to address,” she said.
The organizers of the march could not be reached for comment.
The bus plan has made the mayor into a minor character in the partisan debate over gun rights and gun control.
Pugh made a contentious appearance on the Fox News show Ingraham Angle on Wednesday evening to talk about the plans. The mayor and host Laura Ingraham spent much of the time talking over one another.
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Ingraham asked whether Pugh would help students who wanted to attend an annual anti-abortion March for Life. Pugh said the organizers had not contacted her.