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DeRay for Mayor!

I think the bright young leaders of the BLM Movement are about to get a lesson in politics, and intractable problems… Einstein once said – “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” I sincerely hope that if DeRay wins, the experience of there being no short term or easy solutions doesn’t end his desire to change…

 

DeRay Mckesson files to run in Baltimore mayoral race

In a surprise move, civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson jumped into the already crowded contest for Baltimore mayor Wednesday night, shaking up the Democratic field minutes before the deadline to file.

“Baltimore is a city of promise and possibility,” the Black Lives Matter member told The Baltimore Sun. “We can’t rely on traditional pathways to politics and the traditional politicians who walk those paths if we want transformational change.”

He said he planned to release a platform within a week. He said it would include a call for internal school system audits to be made public.

Mckesson was the 13th and final candidate to jump into the primary race. In deep-blue Baltimore, the Democratic primary has long determined the winner of the general election.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has declined to run for re-election. Leading candidates include former Mayor Sheila Dixon, state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, City Councilmen Carl Stokes and Nick J. Mosby, lawyer Elizabeth Embry and businessman David L. Warnock.

Mckesson, 30, a Baltimore native and former public school administrator here and in Minnesota, is part of a team called Campaign Zero, which seeks to end police killings in America. The group wants to end “broken windows” policing, increase community oversight of police and limit use of force, among other goals.

Mckesson has gained widespread attention in the protest movement that began in Ferguson, Mo., and came to Baltimore last year to demonstrate against police brutality after the death of Freddie Gray. He has nearly 300,000 followers on Twitter.

He has met with top White House officials and presidential candidates in recent months to discuss civil rights. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called him a “social media emperor.”

In recent months, Mckesson has been living in North Baltimore.

Dixon, the front-runner in the Democratic primary, said Wednesday she had not heard of Mckesson. She noted there are less than three months to go until the election, and said she wouldn’t be distracted.

“We all want the best for Baltimore,” she said. “There are 84 days left. I’m staying focused.”

Recent polls showed Dixon leading the Democratic primary, followed by Pugh and Stokes.

Mosby, who has been doing well among younger voters, welcomed Mckesson to the race. “I welcome anyone to the race and look forward to the discussion about building a better Baltimore,” he said. “I have seen the best and the worst of Baltimore and so far I am the only candidate for mayor to offer a comprehensive plan to tackle Baltimore’s toughest challenges.”

The crowded Democratic field means a candidate could win the April 26 primary with a small fraction of the vote.

Sean Yoes, the host of the “First Edition” radio show at Morgan State University’s WEAA station, said Mckesson’s candidacy would “represent a departure from business as usual.”

But he added that Mckesson is likely not well-known among the older African-American women who have long decided Baltimore’s elections….More here

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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DNC Accepts Black Lives Matter Town Hall

Going to be interesting to see if the RNC follows suit.

DNC gives blessing to Black Lives Matter presidential town hall — but won’t add debate

The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday gave its blessing to two of the most prominent activist groups associated with the Black Lives Matter protest movement — the #BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero — to host a presidential town hall focused on issues of racial justice, but stood firm in its stance that there will be no additional debates on the 2016 campaign schedule.

In letters addressed to leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter network and prominent activist DeRay Mckesson, the DNC invited the activist groups to coordinate and host a presidential town hall similar to those currently being planned by some state-level Democratic parties and some liberal groupsincluding MoveOn.org.

‘We believe that your organization would be an ideal host for a presidential candidate forum — where all of the Democratic candidates can showcase their ideas and policy positions that will expand opportunity for all, strengthen the middle class and address racism in America,” wrote Amy K. Dacey, chief executive officer of the DNC, in the letters which were obtained by The Post. “The DNC would be happy to help promote the event.”

The letters come one day after organizers with the #BlackLivesMatter network — an activist collective with the same name often applied to the broader protest movement — called on the DNC to sanction an additional debate themed around issues of racial justice, which was only referenced once during the CNN presidential debate in Las Vegas earlier this month.

In an interview on Wednesday, Black Lives Matter organizer Elle Hearns said the umbrella group had yet to decide if it would proceed with an attempt to host a town hall, and said that she was still personally disappointed that the DNC will not sanction an additional debate.

“Their response to our request is unsatisfactory,’ Hearns said, and added that it is irresponsible for the Democratic National Committee to host so few debates. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be more mindful of her responsibility not only to the DNC, but to the American people.”

Mckesson, however, said he has been in talks with DNC officials to coordinate a presidential town hall and has also reached out to the Republican National Committee with the hope of including GOP presidential candidates as well.

Activists, many of whom were politically unaffiliated prior to the current protest movement, continue to grapple with how to best influence the ongoing presidential campaign. While many of the most prominent activists and organizers have gained national followings, and most of the leading presidential campaigns — especially in the Democratic field — have worked to ensure they remain in the movement’s good graces.

In a letter McKesson sent to DNC officials earlier this week, Mckesson noted the national conversation about race and criminal justice prompted in large part by the protests following the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

“The issues of police violence, state violence, mass incarceration, and the impact of systematic inequity have been at the forefront of these conversations and they should also be centered during the 2016 Presidential Campaign,” Mckesson wrote. “We have an opportunity to create space for a robust and transformational conversation about a set of issues that are key to millions of voters.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Mckesson said he hopes to secure commitments from all current presidential candidates — both Democrats and Republicans — and that he has begun reaching out to potential venues and corporate partners. Mckesson said he has reached out to contacts at Twitter, the social network on which he is one of the most prominent users, to gauge their interest in co-hosting the town hall.…More Here…

 

 

 
 

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