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In the Media: BLM Activist DeRay Mckesson Enters Race for Mayor; Obama at Md. Mosque

@deray
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A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From the Baltimore Sun: 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.

"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.

"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."

Full Article

DeRay Mckesson’s Letter in Medium: I Am Running for Mayor of Baltimore

"Like many others, I know this city’s pain. As the child of two now-recovered addicts, I have lived through the impact of addiction. I too have received the call letting me know that another life has fallen victim to the violence of our city. Like so many other residents, I have watched our city deal what seems like an endless series of challenges and setbacks.

"Perhaps because I have seen both the impact of addiction and the power of recovery, I hold tight to the notion that our history is not our destiny. That we are, and always will be, more than our pain. What we choose to do today and tomorrow will shape our future and build our reality. It is why I believe so strongly that Baltimore is, and has always been, a city of promise and possibility.

"I have come to realize that the traditional pathway to politics, and the traditional politicians who follow these well-worn paths, will not lead us to the transformational change our city needs. Many have accepted that our current political reality is fixed and irreversible — that we must resign ourselves to accept the way that City Hall functions, or the role of money and connections in dictating who runs and wins elections. They have bought into the notion that there is only one road that leads to serve as an elected leader."

Full Letter

From the Baltimore Sun: President Obama at Maryland Mosque: ‘You Fit in Here’

"President Barack Obama, speaking in Baltimore County on Wednesday during his first visit to a U.S. mosque as president, called on Americans to embrace their 'common humanity' and to reject the 'inexcusable political rhetoric' he said is emanating from the presidential campaign trail.

"Obama spoke of the role Islam has played in the nation's history, and decried a rise in rhetoric and violence directed against Muslims since the deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

"'We're one American family,' Obama told an audience at the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Catonsville, one of the largest and most influential mosques in the Mid-Atlantic. 'And when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second-class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.'

"Though Obama touched on the presidential election only tangentially, White House aides say he decided to speak at the mosque largely to counter statements and policies floated by Republican candidates in recent months.

"Billionaire Donald Trump, in particular, has stirred controversy by proposing to bar Muslims from entering the country.

"'Recently, we've heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country,' Obama said. 'We have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion.'”

Full Article