Del. Cory McCray (D-Baltimore City, second from left) listens as Andrew Bertamini, Maryland regional president for Wells Fargo bank speaks at a recent gathering of business and community leaders to discuss ways to collaborate and help McCray’s 45th legislative district.
Members of the business and non-profit sectors came together recently in east Baltimore to discuss their community-based, city-wide efforts in hopes of fostering greater involvement and collaboration.
The gathering was organized by Del. Cory McCray (D-Baltimore City) and held at the historic Clifton Mansion on May 27. Among those present were representatives from companies including Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, and Sun Trust Bank, as well as “main street” groups working in McCray’s 45th legislative district such as Banner Neighborhoods Inc., Belair Edison Main Streets, Midtown Community Benefit Districts.
“ so many great organizations that are doing a lot of great work across the state of Maryland, but the question is, what are they doing in the 45th district,” said McCray.
The idea behind the gathering, said McCray, was to connect the persons doing the work in Baltimore’s underserved communities with those who provide the funding for such efforts and want to make sure their philanthropic investments achieve the greatest possible return.
“That organization, they’re running a business but they’re looking for opportunities to help, so they don’t have to do the community organizing along with their business, they can also tie in with that person who is the boots on the ground,” said McCray.
Andrew Bertamini, Maryland regional president for Wells Fargo, attended the meeting and said he hoped it would foster conversations about what the biggest needs are in Baltimore and what partnerships could be formed to meet those needs most effectively.
“The biggest challenge I find is individuals, all with good intentions, are trying to do things but no one’s collaborating, or not enough are collaborating . . . and I just firmly believe that when you collaborate, you work together, you accomplish more,” said Bertamini.
Del. Antonio Hayes (D-Baltimore City) also attended the meeting, and said he hoped to have a similar gathering in his 40th district so that some of the community-level successes other parts of the city have seen can reach places like Penn-North or Sandtown-Winchester.
“There are different conversations going on in the community and boardrooms around Baltimore about how do we plan beyond this, and there are leaders who have recognized that what we’ve done in the past hasn’t worked, so let’s bring both of those communities together that traditionally may not agree on the same methods of getting there to solve some of the problems in our community,” said Hayes.