Donald Fry: Labor Day violence frames the challenge facing new police commissioner

  By Donald C. Fry The recent Labor Day weekend violence in Baltimore City, where 16 people were shot and six died, brought holiday tragedy to several city neighborhoods, largely in the east and northeast sections of the city. They served as a brutal reminder that, despite declining violent crime...

GBC-supported tax credits gain passage in 2010 Assembly session

In a 2010 General Assembly session punctuated by more fiscal shuffling to close yet another budget deficit, lawmakers managed to pass a number of bills, including several key tax credits, that could favorably impact the state’s business competitiveness. GBC-supported measures that passed the General Assembly included bills to continue and broaden an incentive program for historic building rehabilitation, to fund tax credits for bioscience investment, to extend tax credits for … Continue reading

Greater Baltimore Committee priorities for 2010 General Assembly

Preserving Maryland’s bioscience investment tax credits and other business incentives, support for charter schools and higher education resources, protecting the state’s transportation funding from being used for other purposes, and nurturing the growth of small businesses are among the Greater Baltimore Committee’s priorities for the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly, which convenes this week on January 13. “Recognizing that business, not government, creates jobs, our elected leaders must … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Where’s the outrage over crime?

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR It’s been 10 years since the Greater Baltimore Committee urged the city to adopt a goal of reducing murder and violent crime by 50 percent. Reducing crime is essential for other economic growth strategies to be successful, a 1999 GBC report to city leaders concluded. So, how has the city done in the last 10 years? There has been some progress. The murder rate is … Continue reading

Some successes for business emerge from difficult General Assembly session

Despite what has been a difficult session for both lawmakers and business advocates, a number of GBC-supported bills that will have a positive impact on Maryland’s business climate and economic growth gained passage, including measures to extend and improve the bioscience investment tax credit, provide local incentives for transit oriented development, and to strengthen the minority business enterprise program. Meanwhile, a bill to re-regulate electricity — which was strongly opposed … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Safe Streets homicide reduction program off to an encouraging start

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Imagine living in a place where the expectation is that there will be four murders in your neighborhood every year and a half. In May 2007, McElderry Park in east Baltimore was just such a neighborhood. That’s when the Baltimore City Health Department picked McElderry Park — statistically one of the city’s most violence-prone areas — as the place to launch the Safe Streets program. … Continue reading

GBC urges members to help expand Baltimore’s Safe Streets

The “Safe Streets” strategy includes a unique outreach component where streetwise counselors mediate disputes in crime-prone neighborhoods and head off developing violent situations. In the three areas of Baltimore City where Safe Streets has been deployed since July 2007, the combined homicide rate has been reduced by 80 percent, and violent crime is down 40 percent. The Greater Baltimore Committee is urging everyone, businesses and individuals, city and non-city residents, … Continue reading

GBC steps up to support city’s ‘ground level’ anti-violence program

Greater Baltimore Committee President & CEO Donald C. Fry Aug. 13 presented Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon with a $100,000 contribution from the GBC to help fund an expansion of the city’s new neighborhood-based anti-violence program. Participating in a City Hall news conference, Fry gave Dixon the contribution as the first installment of a $500,000 pledge the GBC has made to help expand Operation Safe Streets. The fledgling program has been … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Urging members to help expand Baltimore’s Safe Streets

The Greater Baltimore Committee has accepted a challenge to engage businesses and non profits in the region in an effort to help Mayor Sheila Dixon expand “Safe Streets” to more posts at a cost of $2 million, $1 million of which the city has budgeted. Dixon is seeking $500,000 from area foundations and $500,000 from the business community for the expansion. Based on a successful Chicago program, the Safe Streets … Continue reading