Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson filed the necessary papers to run for mayor of Baltimore on Wednesday, launching a bid to replace outgoing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who made clear in September that she will not seek re-election.
— Luke Broadwater☀️ (@lukebroadwater) February 4, 2016
Mckesson is a Baltimore native as well as a figurehead in the Black Lives Matter movement who recently shifted his attention to spearheading the movement Campaign Zero, which aims to end America's police brutality epidemic.
Mckesson joins a crowded field of 28 mayoral candidates, according to the Baltimore Sun. The makeup of the race stands at 13 Democrats, four Republicans, three Green Party candidates and a libertarian.
"Baltimore is at a moment," Mckesson told the Washington Post. "I'm running to usher Baltimore into a new era where our government is accountable to its people and aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves problems."
Baltimore has been at the center of the national conversation around race since the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police. Currently, 58% of Baltimore residents think the city is "on the wrong track," according to a recent poll.
According to the Washington Post, Mckesson met with several policy experts in a private meeting in January to dissect the policy proposals of current mayoral candidates and craft an agenda that included not only criminal justice reform, but also health care policy, housing and education.
"I've lived through too many lofty promises and vague plans," Mckesson told thePost. "We've come to rely on a traditional model of politics only to be rewarded with disappointing results."
Twitter lit up in reaction to Mckesson's plans:
Tons of hand-wringing about the lack of young progressives running for office at the city & state level. @deray shows leadership again.
— Anil Dash (@anildash) February 4, 2016
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) February 4, 2016
Congratulations to @deray for the next step in his work. Wishing him a successful mayoral campaign in Baltimore. ✊❤
— Dana White (@ItsDanaWhite) February 4, 2016
If Deray becomes the mayor of bmore I just might move back there lol
— Jo0o0ordy! (@JordyC87) February 4, 2016
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