Activist DeRay Mckesson Is Officially Running For Mayor of Baltimore
In move that very few would deem shocking, civil rights activist and social media god, DeRay Mckesson announced Wednesday night that he is throwing his hat into the ring by filing to run for Mayor of Baltimore. He is entering the race as a Democratic contender.
Despite the odds stacked against him due to the fact that he’s entering the race rather late and he’s up against a handful of seasoned candidates, including former Mayor Sheila Dixon, entrepreneur David L. Warnock. Lawyer Elizabeth Embry, Councilman Carl Stokes and Nick J. Mosby – McKesson is moving full speed ahead without looking back.
Mckesson, 30, came into prominence once the tireless and globally endorsed movement – Black Lives Matter became a formidable force in the civil rights arena by systematically highlighting the injustice brought on by police brutality which has been an ongoing issue in the black community.
The Baltimore native successfully and brilliantly used the chaos and mayhem of the past couple of years to hone in on his skills as a charismatic leader of the oppressed and his consistent hard work and diligence has paid off.
Along with his lieutenant and fellow Black Lives Matter patriot, Johnetta Elzie, who is also a well-lauded activist in her own right, Mckesson has solidified his status as a freedom fighter who will stop at nothing to guarantee that justice is served in the name of those who deserve it.
His constant presence on Twitter has amassed him almost 300,000 followers with the numbers increasing daily and he has attracted the attention of high-profile influencers like presidential hopeful and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who labeled him a “social media emperor”.
He has also accepted formal invites to meet with top officials at the White House, as well as with presidential candidates who see his presence as a necessary validation of their commitment to helping ease the racial tension that is currently gripping the nation.
There is no doubt that the Bowdoin College alum’s access to social media coupled by the impeccable timing of events that have continuously proven the dire need and relevance of Black Lives Matter has helped propel him to the heights he is now embodying.
In a piece written for the San Francisco-based blogging platform, Medium, Mckesson details why he decided to run for office and why he believes he has a chance of winning. Aside from the fact that he has a long personal history with the crippled city (he currently lives in North Baltimore), Mckesson believes that a non-tradtional approach will be the best way to affect much-needed change since the old way of doing things hasn’t produced encouraging results.
“I have come to realize that the traditional pathway to pathway to politics, and the traditional politicians who follow these well-worn paths, will not lead us to the transformational change our city needs”.
Mckesson goes on to detail his reasons for running by pointing out his desire to give Baltimore a much-needed makeover by starting at the top, “I am running to tbe the 50th Mayor of Baltimore in order to usher our city into an era where the government is accountable to its people and is aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves its problems. We can build a Baltimore where more people want to live and work, and where everyone can thrive”
But in the end, the most revealing motivation was his declaration – “I am a son of Baltimore”, a powerful summation of why he is committed to restoring a broken city to its full glory.
The recent polls indicate that Dixon is leading the Democratic primary and Mosby who has been appealing to younger voters extended a warm welcome to Mckesson but that didn’t stop Mosby from using the opportunity to reiterate why he would be the better man for the job, “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. It also doesn’t hurt that Mosby’s wife; Marilyn Mosby is the State’s Attorney for Baltimore and garnered major attention due to her involvement in the Freddie Gray Case that resulted in the indictment of the six police officers.
But Mckesson does have legions of followers who practically hang on to his every word and truly believe that the famed activist is the voice of the future. Elzie, who will be moving to Baltimore to help support Mckesson’s campaign is confident that her friend and colleague’s determination and love for his city will ultimately win out.
Either way, this vital development already proves that Mckesson is definitely just starting to harness the power he wields and nobody can deny that there are big things in his future.
Let the games begin!