Dear Friends and Neighbors:
When I announced my campaign for State Senate two years ago, I talked about how our communities deserved more than they had been getting. Decades of disinvestment in our neighborhoods was manifesting itself as vacant and blighted spaces, under-resourced schools, and in heightened worries about public safety. These concerns have been at the front of my mind each day that I have served as your 45th District Senator.
Solutions to challenges like these do not happen overnight, but I am proud to share our progress on each of these issues in this month’s McCray Messenger.
The State of Our Schools
For over a decade, students and teachers at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School were used to technological shortcomings. In addition to hampering daily instruction, testing days were especially tough at Tilghman because there just weren’t enough reliable computers to get through testing without delays and interruptions. That’s why I’m proud to announce that Johns Hopkins has committed over $50,000 to replace outdated computer technology at Tilghman. Thanks to their contribution, students are able to complete their schoolwork and tests on brand new Chromebooks.
Next month, we’ll be hosting a “State of our Schools” forum to discuss education both in the 45th District and throughout the State of Maryland. We’ll be joined by a distinguished group of education and policy leaders, including Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan (Chairman of the “Kirwan Commission” and former Chancellor of the University System of Maryland), Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises (CEO of Baltimore City Schools), and Kimberly Humphrey, Esq. (Public Policy Counsel for the ACLU of Maryland). We look forward to having a conversation about everything from 21st Century Schools construction to statewide investments in K-12 education. The event will be held at The REACH! Partnership School at 2555 Harford Road on November 5 from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm.
Live Where You Work
The “Live Near Your Work” program offers grants to employees of Johns Hopkins so that they can purchase homes in neighborhoods near the university and hospital campuses. Fortunately, the program has been expanded into the following communities: Johnston Square, South Clifton Park, Belair Edison, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, Mayfield, and Darley Park. This expansion will make it easier for Hopkins employees to truly invest in their communities through home ownership, and will provide an added layer of stability for 45th District neighborhoods. To learn more about the “Live Near Your Work” partnership, please check out the op-ed that I recently co-authored with my friend Alicia Wilson.
North East Housing Initiative Groundbreaking
I was proud to join the North East Housing Initiative (NEHI) to celebrate the ground breaking of a new project that will bring affordable homes to the 4×4 neighborhood in lower Belair Edison. I was proud to partner with my colleagues, Delegates Cheryl Glenn, Talmadge Branch, and Stephanie Smith to secure a $75,000 bond from the State of Maryland to support NEHI’s work.
New #TeamMcCray Sponsored Public Safety Laws
On October 1, three public safety bills that I introduced this session were enacted into law. Senate Bill 39 requires the Police Commissioner to prepare a redistricting plan for the City’s police districts following each decennial census. Senate Bill 41 requires the Office of Legislative Audits to conduct an audit of the Baltimore Police Department to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness. And Senate Bill 81 requires the Baltimore Police Department to produce an annual report on how grants received from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention are being used to support community policing efforts.
Finally, I was humbled to once again participate in The 6th Branch’s day of service on September 11. Volunteers from across our City, including employees from CareFirst BlueCross Blueshield, T.RowePrice, Legg Mason, and McCormick joined together to carry on the legacy of the first responders and heroes from 9/11.
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Senator, 45th Legislative District