The committee nominating a replacement for Brandon Scott as the 2nd District representative to the City Council chose, as expected, Danielle “Dani” McCray tonight after interviewing nearly two dozen people.
The sister of Sen. Cory V. McCray and a former aide to Scott in his district office, McCray received nine votes. She only needed seven to have the required simple majority.
Glenda Curtis and Gary Williams each received one vote.
The full Council will vote on the committee’s recommendation at its June 11 meeting, said Councilwoman Shannon Sneed.
She chaired tonight’s meeting and sat on the panel along with Councilman Zeke Cohen and a group of 2nd District community leaders.
“You all know me”
Even before the results were tabulated, it was clear that the members of the committee were familiar with McCray, referring to her by name as “Ms. McCray” and “Dani.”
During her opportunity to address the committee, McCray spoke with fervor about her experiences doing constituent service involving everything “from illegal dumping to street paving to making sure a water bill is adjusted correctly for seniors on a fixed income.”
“You all know me, and you all know this is the work that, seriously, I love,” she said. “It comes from the heart.”
A Waltherson resident for the last five years, McCray described her priorities as public safety and restoring trust in government.
“I plan on continuing to be responsive, transparent and continuing to work hard on behalf of our communities,” she said.
At the end of the meeting, Cohen thanked the people who had submitted their names for consideration, saying their willingness to work to help better the East Baltimore district and the city as a whole was “so, so heartening.”
Many spoke of troubles they encounter in their own neighborhoods – homelessness, drug addiction, lack of jobs and local businesses.
“I live on one of the most challenging blocks in Belair-Edison,” Christina Delgado said.
Tamira Dunn stressed, as many did, the need to improve public safety and education, but she also mentioned maternal and child health.
“I do know that there is a high infant mortality rate in that community,” she said.
Others, like Wesley Hawkins, spoke from hard personal experience about Baltimore’s worst problems.
“I was once that child that everybody condemned and said wasn’t gonna be nothing,” Hawkins told the panel.
“Standing before you is a young man who has suffered from two drug addict parents,” he said. “I’ve been homeless before. I’ve lived in abandoned houses. I’ve been a foster child, and I basically come from nothing.”
Today a college graduate and former correctional officer who runs a youth mentoring program, Hawkins suggested his turnaround story could be Baltimore’s.
“I know we could come back from all that,” he said, “because I did.”