I've seen the City of Baltimore at its best and its most challenged.

Baltimore's people know how great this city can be, but in the face of inaction and a lack of accountability, it's too easy to give up hope -- to resign yourself to thinking, 'that's just the way the city is,' that there's no turning it around.

I believe there is another way.

I am running to be the next Mayor of Baltimore because I believe Baltimore is a city of promise and possibility. And I want to ask for your support to help us win so we can change our city.

Please contribute $5 to our campaign and help me be the next leader that Baltimore needs.

I am a son of Baltimore. And we have seen and lived through enough lofty promises and vague plans. I am running for mayor 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.

That's why I'm proud to announce the platform for our campaign.

There's a lot that we must do, and you can find more on my site. But I hope this preview of our campaign inspires you to get involved. And I hope you can chip in $5 to endorse my platform and my campaign.

Here's what I'm planning to focus on as Mayor.

Community Investment

Baltimore residents should have access to jobs with wages that support their families. I believe that the pathway to community prosperity starts when we reduce the barriers that make it difficult for individuals to find and maintain jobs and open up businesses. That includes:

  • Advocating to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour
  • Dramatically expanding youth employment.
  • Working with employers who are invested in the city’s future to directly hire more city residents in full time jobs that pay a living wage and offer benefits.
  • Strengthening local hiring policies and practices to maximize the employment potential of the development projects and businesses who receive city contracts, subsidies and support.
  • Exploring a local fund to support the creation of worker owned co-operatives.
  • Streamlining regulations, licensing, and permitting processes to make it easier for businesses to start and grow in Baltimore.
  • Working with employers who are invested in the city’s future to directly hire more city residents in full time jobs that pay a living wage and offer benefits.

Public Safety

Our communities must be safe for our communities to thrive. I understand that issues of safety are more expansive than policing, and that to make the city as safe as we want it to be, we will have to address issues related to job development, job access, grade-level reading, transportation, and college readiness. But it is true that for kids to go school they must be alive and for adults to work they must not be in jail. So as Mayor, I will:

  • Invest in effective crime prevention strategies that prioritize de-escalation, community mediation, and opportunities for treatment.
  • End the war on drugs by focusing on treatment and rehabilitation instead of arrest and incarceration.
  • Ensure a just, fair, and effective response to crime by decriminalizing low-level, nonviolent offenses and requiring and investing in de-escalation tactics.
  • Eliminate provisions in the Baltimore Police Union contract that remove records of civilian complaints against officers, limit civilian involvement in administrative hearing boards, and prevent officers who are placed on the “do not call list” from being disciplined.
  • Enact an ordinance making chokeholds and “rough rides” (leaving a person unrestrained in a police vehicle) by police officers illegal.
  • Require a majority of Baltimore police officers to be recruited from, and live in, the communities with the highest rates of police contact.

Education & Youth Development

I believe that every student in the city of Baltimore should have access to a dynamic, high quality education that prepares each child for college or a career. We believe that through strategic partnership and investment, increased transparency, and the heightened coordination of city-provided services in response to family needs we can catalyze change and lay the groundwork for reconfiguring the the role of City Hall in the support and governance of City Schools.

This includes:

  • Expanding full-day public pre-K for low-income 3-4 year olds.
  • Create literacy-rich environments and programming throughout our community that support every young child’s early exploration and development -- and every parent as their child’s first teacher.
  • Increase college and career readiness for all of Baltimore's residents so they have the education and training they need to compete in the regional economy.

My candidacy for Mayor is not a traditional one. I am an activist, not an elected official. I am a teacher, not a professional politician.

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.

Let's be clear: I am not the silver bullet for the challenges of our city — no one individual is. But together, with the right ideas, the right passion, and the right people, we can take this city in a new direction.

Please chip in $5 to help our campaign win, and help bring Baltimore in the new direction it deserves.

We can build a Baltimore where more and more people want to live and work, and where everyone can thrive.

All of this and more is possible, but only if we're all in this together.


DeRay Mckesson

P.S. You can find out more about our campaign at http://DeRayForMayor.com

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