Sen. Cory McCray (Courtesy Photo)

By Ralph E. Moore, Jr.

Cory McCray is going places.  He came onto the political scene in 2014 when he was elected to Maryland State House of Delegates for the 45th District.  Four years later, he ran for the district’s state senate seat then occupied by Nathaniel McFadden. And McCray won.

Senator Cory McCray appears to be one of the most respected members of the Maryland General Assembly these days.  But he is not a run of the mill, routine state level elected official.  His public interests are varied and he goes with them where others do not go.  Cory McCray, among several issues, cares about the environment.

And how did his attention come to it?  He was born in Baltimore, moving from Edmondson Village to northeast Baltimore at an early age.  McCray attended Baltimore City Public Schools and the Baltimore City Community College. He then attained a Bachelor’s degree from the National Labor College. Interested in apprenticeships, Senator McCray was a member of the union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, at an early age and became a homeowner a year later at age 20.

McCray started a small business and a family before entering public life.  His wife, Demetria, and he have four children (two girls, 14 and 12 plus two boys, 7 and 6).  They are a couple of caring professionals raising children in Baltimore.

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters now acknowledges what many in our state know about State Senator Cory McCray (D-45): he is an exceptionally effective public official.  And so, they will recognize him at their annual Changemakers: Celebrating Environmental Leaders event on September 23 from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Frederick Douglass-Isacc Myers Maritime Park, 1417 Thames Street.

Senator McCray passed 21 bills in the 2021 Session.  Four of those senate bills were about the environment: SB2, SB546, SB616 and SB199.

McCray was principal sponsor of SB 2: “Altering from voting to nonvoting the type of membership position the Executive Director of the Maryland Environmental Service holds on the Board of Directors of the Service; removing the Deputy Director of the Service from the Board; requiring the Director to present certain expense information at each regular meeting of the Board; requiring the Board, by December 31, 2021, and every 5 years thereafter, to obtain an assessment of the Board’s operations by an independent consultant; etc.”

He sponsored SB 546: “Altering the definition of “elevated level of lead” for purposes of certain provisions of law requiring the periodic testing for the presence of lead in drinking water outlets in occupied public and nonpublic school buildings; requiring by August 1, 2022, a school to take certain remedial measures on a drinking water outlet tested on or before June 1, 2021, if the test indicated a concentration of lead that was more than 5 parts per billion but less than 20 parts per billion; etc.”

Then there’s SB 616: “Authorizing a Baltimore City Soil Conservation District to be established and continued with boundaries corresponding to the boundaries of Baltimore City.” Which allowed the Baltimore jurisdiction to receive technical assistance and funds for urban farming.”

Finally, there is SB 199 for which McCray is principally being honored by the MLCV: “Maryland Transit Administration Funding and MARC Rail Extension Study (Transit Safety and Investment Act) “Establishing the Purple Line Construction Zone Grant Program to provide funds to qualified small businesses to assist in offsetting business revenue lost due to the construction of the Purple Line light rail project; requiring in each of fiscal years 2023 and 2024 the Department of Commerce to provide $1,000,000 in general funds to the Program; requiring the Department and the Maryland Transportation Administration to consult with small businesses in developing certain regulations; limiting grants awarded to $50,000 or less; etc.”

Of the forthcoming award, McCray said “It is cool to be recognized for this transportation issue. I am very proud that the Transit Safety and Investment Act passed with bi-partisan support.” There are so many environmental concerns such as lead in drinking water in our schools and their inadequate heat our city was noted for in the national media a few years ago.”

But State Senator Cory McCray listens to his constituents and other Marylanders and he learns.  He is creative and able to work well with other members of the Maryland General Assembly to get things done. That’s why he’s not a passing, shooting star but a North Star.  Look up for him.

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