Baltimore CUs reopen, look forward to community conversation
April 29, 2015
BALTIMORE (4/30/15)--Unrest over the death of Freddie Gray has rocked the city of Baltimore in recent days, but as the tensions begin to calm, credit unions--some of which had to close their doors earlier this week--are starting to assess what's next for the community they serve.
Peggy Young, vice president of marketing for SECU CU, Linthicum, Md., said that President/CEO Rod Staatz has plans to reach out to Gov. Larry Hogan about how the credit union can participate in efforts to bring the community back together.
Hogan moved his offices from Annapolis to Baltimore as riots and clashes between residents and police gripped various parts of the city.
"So many people are working so hard to make the city thrive," Young told New Now Wednesday. "We need to rethink how we do financial literacy, how we mentor, how we become more integrated in the community."
Young added that the credit union plans to sit down in the coming days to talk about potentially stepping up its volunteer efforts--currently the credit union encourages employees to volunteer four hours per month--and also about how it can identify and partner with organizations operating in underserved areas.
Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, SECU closed two branches early. Further, one was closed completely Tuesday due to the fact that it resides in a state office building, which was closed for the day.
"We deployed those employees to serve members at other branches," Young said.
SECU branches operated normally Wednesday, and Young said as the scene unfolded in the days prior, the credit union worked closely with neighboring businesses to ensure that employees and members were safe.
Young said the branches suffered no damage and no credit union employees were harmed. However, the mayor has imposed a citywide curfew of 10 p.m., which could cause problems for some credit union employees, Young added.
Baltimore-based MECU closed three branches as well Tuesday, but a message on its website said that all branches opened at their regular times Wednesday.
"We will continue to monitor the situation in the city and update our site with additional closings and information as needed," the credit union said on its website.