By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, syoes@afro.com

When she was a little girl Danielle McCray was part of what was once a ubiquitous Baltimore tradition.

Her great grandmother lived at 1612 Gilmor Street in West Baltimore and McCray and her siblings used to scrub the white marble steps of her great grandmother’s home. “It taught us how to work hard and take pride in our neighborhood,” McCray said. “That was a very early lesson.”

Danielle McCray, 34, was sworn in on June 11 to represent the 2nd Council District formerly held by Brandon Scott, who recently ascended to Baltimore City Council President. (Courtesy Photo)

One of McCray’s siblings who also scrubbed those marble steps in West Baltimore was her older brother Cory, the State Senator who represents the community where they both currently live. Now, Danielle McCray has been confirmed to replace Brandon Scott, who has ascended to Baltimore City Council President, as the Councilperson representing the 2nd District.

“The issues of the 2nd District are the same issues I face day today,” said McCray, who says she worked alongside Scott, for the last five years and helped to develop “a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence, worked to improve health outcomes, and…legislation that requires city agencies to make decisions through the lens of equity,” according to a statement.

The AFRO reached out to City Council President Scott for comment for this story, but he did not return a phone call by press time.

McCray, 34, lists among her accomplishments, her role in co-founding the BEST Democratic Club in 2011, to register voters, increase voter turnout, “and empower new leaders to run for elected office,” according to a statement.

McCray is a resident of the Waltherson community of East Baltimore, where she is a member of the Waltherson Improvement Association. She said of her work with Scott, “I want to continue the work I am already doing, just on a larger scale.”

Specifically, McCray, who is a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, said she will focus on the issues of traffic calming, transportation and public safety. Public safety is the issue that Scott, the man she will succeed, gained notoriety over as the chair of the Council’s public safety committee. McCray said she wants to continue that important work as the Councilperson in the 2nd District.

“It is crucial we restore trust in law enforcement in our community through Constitutional policing, in line with the implementation of the Consent Decree and better leadership,” McCray said.

She sees the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) under the leadership of new commissioner Michael Harrsion, moving incrementally in the right direction.

“He’s (Harrison) already moving forward in restoring trust,” she said and cited his decisive actions in swiftly disciplining or terminating officers for misconduct.

“With the histories of activism and representation that she comes from, in being the sibling of Senator Cory McCray, and having worked with former Councilman and now Council President Brandon Scott, it is safe to say that she most likely has had a deep and thorough education of the issues, and mechanisms of how to address them,” said Christopher Ervin, a community organizer and a police accountability and criminal justice advocate.

Although her older brother and Scott have had a very significant influence on her governance philosophy, she credits her mother with establishing her foundation of community service.

“From my mother we learned advocacy, engagement and how to listen,” McCray said. “We are a family of service, my mom was a champion of our community.”