Happy New Year! I hope you all have had a positive start to 2022.
Here are a few updates of events and progress being made:
The Maryland legislative session started on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.
In an op-ed for The Afro, Senator McFadden and myself urge Baltimore City Public Schools to keep Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary School open. It is critical that our school system works with our communities, in doing all we can to support the growth and success of our youth. It would be a shame to withdraw the chance for accessible education from Oliver—a community that has seen so much progress in recent years. It is important that we continue to insist on holding City Schools and its leaders accountable for maintaining these academic spaces for our youth. To read the op-ed, click here.
In an op-ed for Maryland Matters, I highlight the progress we have made in Northeast Baltimore, in relation to public safety and how we should be framing work in other districts this way as well in order to cultivate change. With help from my team and constituents, as well as Baltimore City’s Northeastern Police Department team, homicide rates, fatal shootings and crime have dropped significantly in the area. I hope that the success in the Northeast can open Governor Hogan’s eyes to this method of improvement. With cooperation from all sides of the issue, as well as organizations like Safe streets, run by Dante Johnson, our city has witnessed progress thought to be impossible by many. Public safety revolves not only around the decrease in crime and homicides, but in providing housing, well-paying jobs, efficient transport, quality food sources and so much more— which ensure our citizens have what they need to live, where they live. Many factors indirectly impact the issues of public safety related to crime and homicide, and I call for Governor Hogan to address them in ways that prove successful. To access and read the op-ed, click here.
In the past year, the Northeastern Police District has seen overall success in the decrease in crime, most notably, shootings and homicides. Through our work in addressing issues, like unemployment, pay, food scarcity, housing, education, violence intervention and more, we’ve made significant progress on decreasing crime. None of this would be possible without cooperation amongst our police officers, community members, and the various organizations and coalitions in our communities that work unrelentingly at improving public safety.
Due to the outstanding work of community leader and Director Dante Johnson, and the Safe Streets program, the Belair-Edison community has seen 365 days with 0 homicides. Through community building, outreach to mediate, and work to minimize conflict they have successfully addressed one of the city’s most pressing public safety concerns, gun violence. This work would not be possible if not for the members of the community and its leaders, demand and fight for a safer environment. “Peace is like a disease; it spreads slowly but surely.” – Safe Streets Belair-Edison Director Dante Johnson
Through the work done in 2019, with Senate Bill 280, by Diana Fennel and myself, there has been an increase from $11.75 to $12.50, and we will see a continuous rise in upcoming years. It is critical we pay livable wages, supporting our essential workers, workers with disabilities, student workers, and working families.
I have pre-filed various bills for this year’s legislative session. It is important to be as transparent and strongly communicative as possible with the citizens I am so honored to be working for. I plan to advocate for bills addressing vehicle theft protection, housing development and Neighborhood Revitalization Programs, MTA toll payments and civil penalties, occupational licenses or certificates in relation to pre-application determinations and criminal convictions, wages, and community solar energy generating systems.
The bills I have pre-filed can be found here:
I hope with the work of my team, and our communities, to continue on a path of such abundant progress and growth this year, and in the years to come.
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Cory V. McCray
Senator, 45th Legislative District