Baltimore

Black Lives Matter Activist Deray Mckesson Running for Baltimore Mayor

Says government has to identify its problems and solve them.

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skooksie/flickr

Deray Mckesson, one of the Black Lives Matter activists behind Campaign Zero, a comprehensive set of police reform policies ranging from body cameras to union contracts, for which Campaign Zero launched a separate website, Check the Police, is running to be the Democratic nominee for mayor of Baltimore.

In an announcement made on Medium, Mckesson mostly stuck to his status as a "non-traditional candidate" and "son of Baltimore." Mckesson was previously an educator and school administrator in Minneapolis and Baltimore.

Mckesson broadly sketched out his view of government, which should be "accountable to its people and… aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves its problems." Safety, wrote Mckesson, included more than policing and that transparency was a core pillar of government. Mckesson wants to make internal city school audits public, for example. He promised to release a policy platform in the coming weeks.

How closely Mckesson's platform follows the proposals of Campaign Zero remains to be seen, but a Democratic candidate who aggressively engages the role of public unions in thwarting transparency and creating many of government's biggest problems, from education to policing, would indeed be transformative. Even just an engagement of the role of police unions would be politically disruptive.

Mckesson's background in public schools administration could go either way on whether he calls out the role teachers unions play in keeping bad teachers on the job, much like police unions keep bad cops on the job. Although there are more than a dozen other Democratic candidates, Mckesson is poised to expand the conversation in the race, with the potential to address issues usually ignored by mainstream candidates and introduce policy positions mainstream Democratic candidates are hesitant to take on because of entrenched party interests but that could appeal to a broad section of the electorate.

The frontrunner in the race, former mayor Sheila Dixon, says she's never heard of Mckesson. "We all want the best for Baltimore," she told the Baltimore Sun. "There are 84 days left. I'm staying focused."

Another leading Democratic candidate, Nick Mosby, a councilman and husband of the state's attorney prosecuting the officers involved in Freddie Gray's death, previously committed to working with a bipartisan group on criminal justice and policing reforms. Mosby said he welcomed anyone into the raise but that he had a comprehensive plan for Baltimore. While it includes a plank that promises to "improve police transparency, require true community policing, combat addiction, and get body-worn cameras on officers within 100 days of taking office." His platform doesn't mention the role of union contracts in offering expansive job protections to officers like the one his wife is now prosecuting. And of course it doesn't mention teachers unions or, for that matter, even charter schools.

The Sun talked to politics radio host Sean Yoes explained what he thought would be one of Mckesson's biggest hurdles in the race, older African-American women. "If the electorate consisted of celebrities who were politically conscious, then maybe he would have a chance," he said. "I suspect the vast majority of the most prolific voting bloc in Baltimore City do not know who he is. That's going to be problematic for him."

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  1. “for which Campaign Zero launched a separate website”

    Smart move.

  2. a Democratic candidate who aggressively engages the role of public unions in thwarting transparency and creating many of government’s biggest problems, from education to policing, would indeed be transformative

    Good one, Ed!

    Mckesson’s background in public schools administration could go either way on whether he calls out the role teachers unions play in keeping bad teachers on the job

    Considering that public school administrators and the administrative bloat in public schools are an even larger problem in public schools than unions themselves, I’m gonna go with a “no” on this one.

    1. public school administrators and the administrative bloat in public schools are an even larger problem in public schools than unions themselves

      Citation required

      I don’t know if a Principal Hitler could make the learning environment worse that the union contract has in most cities.

      1. Administrative positions at K-12 schools increased by 700 percent since 1950 ? seven times faster than the growth of student enrollment

        Link: http://dailycaller.com/2013/03…..ince-1950/

        1. And they were worth every dollar!

          1. If we understaff our public schools, educational anarchy will inevitably ensue. Gunfights will rage in the corridors, and stabbings will become a daily occurrence in the restrooms. Our children will no longer have adequate exposure to important, timeless lessons only robustly funded, properly administered public schools can deliver — such as how President Franklin Roosevelt defeated the British Empire at Geonosis, and how Barack Obama brought salvation to our Republican-ravaged country.

        2. I understand that it has grown at a faster rate. But I don’t think its as big a problem as the teachers unions that really don’t care whatsoever for educating students compared to their own retirement and tenure.

  3. Black Lives Matter Activist Deray Mckesson Running for Baltimore Mayor

    He has my vote…. to keep his ass in Baltimore.

    I hope he wins… so Baltimore sinks!

  4. Thank god we finally have a black democrat running for office in Baltimore. Maybe now they can solve the problems those white republicans have subjected that city to for generations.

    1. Everything was fine in Baltimore until Littlefinger came along.

      1. Sssshhhheeeeettttt

      2. Will he demand optimal clearance rates from the po-po?

      3. “What DO you want, Mckesson?”

        “Everything. Everything there is.”

      4. Indeed.

  5. the most prolific voting bloc in Baltimore

    I give up. What is it?

    1. The Baltimore Colt’s band?

      1. Colts’. Please.

        Greatest Song Ever

    2. Blue crab fishermen?

      1. “The Sun talked to politics radio host Sean Yoes explained what he thought would be one of Mckesson’s biggest hurdles in the race, older African-American women. “If the electorate consisted of celebrities who were politically conscious, then maybe he would have a chance,” he said. “I suspect the vast majority of the most prolific voting bloc in Baltimore City do not know who he is. That’s going to be problematic for him.””

        Well, they say they’re talking about older African-American women right in the same paragraph, so if you guys could read you wouldn’t need my racist ass to clear up this confusion.

        Of course, this being Reason the grammar of the first sentence is completely fucked.

        1. This is the fourth time in the last few days I’ve seen some variation of that quip from Playa. It’s becoming exceptionally tiresome.

      2. Is this now a local meme?

        1. Yes it is. You can blame Gojira.

  6. “A Democratic candidate who aggressively engages the role of public unions in thwarting transparency and creating many of government’s biggest problems, from education to policing, would indeed be transformative.”

    Yeah, I wish him all the best on that count. I wonder if he realizes how many support there is against public employee unions outside the Democratic party.

    Is the Republican brand tainted so badly that a Republican couldn’t win–even if he is a BLM activist?

    1. Is the Republican brand tainted so badly that a Republican couldn’t win–even if he is a BLM activist?

      To quote Mayor Carcetti, “Do the Republicans even have a candidate for mayor of Baltimore?”

    2. If The Wire is any indication, GOP is outnumbered in Balmer by 9 to 1.

      1. Fuzzy Dunlop is a reliable Republican vote.

        1. Snitches get stitches.

      2. More. It is a shithole that can never recover.

      3. The GOP doesn’t exist in Baltimore. It hasn’t for decades.

  7. I’m sorry, I just can’t take someone with a name like “Deray” seriously.

    *dives headlong out of thread*

    1. You have a little Irish in you, don’t you?

      1. A little briannn(black BLood)nnnn.

    2. You prefer his Scottish last name?

      1. In all honesty, it makes no difference to me. I just remembered the shitstorm that happened in the comments the last time a less-than-bright commenter made a similar remark. Thought it might be good for a lark.

        1. suuuuuuuure

    3. Like most people, Mckesson named himself.

      1. Hisself. Where do you think you are? /sarc /sarc /sarc

      2. The problem is, he was presumably raised by the people who DID name him.

  8. The Sun talked to politics radio host Sean Yoes explained what he thought would be one of Mckesson’s biggest hurdles in the race, older African-American women. “If the electorate consisted of celebrities who were politically conscious, then maybe he would have a chance,” he said. “I suspect the vast majority of the most prolific voting bloc in Baltimore City do not know who he is. That’s going to be problematic for him.”

    It’s funny (or maybe not so funny depending on your perspective) how the ‘hip’ candidate that appeals to young, politically active people usually gets slaughtered because politics is so often a game of established players with strong support networks.

    1. The electorate has to have some confidence in your digging abilities before they’ll elect you to dig them out of a hole. Not just any old rube with a shovel is qualified for hole-digging-out-of.

    2. Problematic!

    3. When Kwame Kilpatrick was electred in Detroit, he went through the same thing. Older African Americans may not like a young, hip mayor. His play was to remove his earring until he was elected. Seriously.

    4. the ‘hip’ candidate that appeals to young, politically active people usually gets slaughtered

      What’s so funny about losing when appealing to only 5% of the voters?

  9. Chocolate Don Schaeffer.

  10. Could he really do any worse than Baltimore’s last 8, 9 mayors? I say, probably not, so give him a chance.

  11. I legitimately don’t think he would be worse than most other mayors of Baltimore.

    1. Except for Tommy Carcetti. That guy was incredibly competent, especially when he was betraying Ned Stark.

      1. You’re conflating Cop Rock with The Hobbit again.

      2. I was completely shocked when I discovered Ned Stark had chosen to forgo his daily dose of Prozium and recover his emotions.

    2. Exactly this. Though to be fair, I suppose they could select a random citizen by lottery to fill the office at every mayoral election, and still be no worse off than in the past.

      1. I agree, but at the very least people that purchased lottery tickets should be disqualified.

  12. “At its core, being the Mayor is about having a vision for the city that is both aspirational and grounded in reality.”

    “Baltimore — The Fourth Greatest City In The World”

  13. So, I am very proximate to this.

    Apparently his brother is also running.

    Also Apparently, he made the deadline by 3 hours.

    Nothing like proactive, thoughtful, measured campaigning.

    “Oh, I just don’t know what to do, run for mayor or not? Better go all in, at the buzzer, in a desperate half-court attempt to retain my black credibility.”

    1. he made the deadline by 3 hours.

      Got in under The Wire.

      /Captain Obvious

    2. I’m sure PB will be along any minute to ridicule the “clown car” of Democrats running for this office.

  14. Holy shit, the 4th Circuit just applied strict scrutiny to MD’s assault weapons ban. No linkie yet.

    1. Why wouldn’t they? A fundamental constitutional right is being infringed.

      1. Because a lot of judges are hacks who can’t distinguish between the Constitution and an Applebees menu.

        1. I’m sure they distinguish them without issue — they simply choose to ignore the distinction.

        2. I can’t order margaritas off the Constitution, moron.

          #Supreme

    2. 4th Circuit is a lively circuit indeed. There is a reason 4 and $ are on the same key.

      $th Circuit. Illuminati confirmed.

  15. Mckesson. That’s an Irish name isn’t it?

    I THOUGHT SO.

    1. But apparently its origins is indeed Scotland.

      Will someone please once and for all explain this?

      I always thought ‘Mc’ was Irish and ‘Mac’ was Scottish. But sometimes, it looks like, there are exceptions!

      Like French grammar rules!

      1. You can’t fool us, you’re Black Irish.

      2. “Mc” and “Mac” are the same thing, I think. The Gaelic Scottish language came from Ireland, so Mc/Mac is a prefix for a patronym in both Scottish and Irish Gaelic.
        That’s my understanding of it.

  16. Is he going to call Baltimore a chocolate city?

  17. Even before you know anything about this guy, ask yourself, could he possibly be any worse than what they have?

    1. Yes, he could. In the vast majority of American jurisdictions, even the most exceedingly despicable politicians must operate within a framework that ostensibly eschews outright socialism, communism, or fascism. Imagine the abyss we’d be flung into if our culture changed such that, as is the norm throughout Europe, these sorts of self-inhibitions on the part of our esteemed statesmen became unnecessary.

      It can always be worse.

      1. You have clearly never been to Baltimore.

        1. Truth be told, I’ve never seen reason to visit.

    2. i think its always possible for a fool to be more dangerous than a charlatan

  18. “Mckesson broadly sketched out his view of government, which should be “accountable to its people and? aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves its problems.””

    (stifles explosive laughter)

    this coming from a member of a group whose main political activity primarily involves screaming vituperation and lying down en-masse.

    What i actually look forward to is a young, motivated person coming to grips with the reality of urban politics, which is a gigantic patronage system for crony constituents.

    its not so much that ” the vast majority of the most prolific voting bloc in Baltimore City do not know who he is” – its that he does not do anything for anyone. Where Is The Beef = What jobs will he guarantee? What favors does he promise? Who is he beholden to?

    He seems to fail to understand that politicians are NOT elected for who they are or what they believe = they’re elected by entrenched interests for the purpose of DOING THEIR BIDDING. The unions, the city-workers, the police, the various institutions…. they run the city. The Mayor is just their rubber-stamper in chief.

    What i think will be worth watching is how someone like chooses to handle the Big Lie.

    1. You’re assuming he isn’t already a political gamer.

      1. true. All i know of him is what i’ve seen of his various twittering. He seems sincere in the same way most activists are when there’s little need for any kind of ideological compromise.

        Which is why i think it will be interesting for him to learn why “black inner city politics” haven’t ever yielded any particularly positive results for black inner-city residents.

        1. He seems sincere

          Yeah, right. Here in NYC Deblasio talks like a true revolutionista out of one side of his mouth while behaving exactly like every other machine politician. The latest example is rewarding a big donor with a juicy Upper West Side parcel by land by evicting the horse-drawn carriage garage from it. Even the city council is calling bullshit on it but one was heard to say this morning “we’ll probably pass it anyway”.

      2. Since he had previously worked in the public school system/scam – he knows the score.

        1. “”he knows the score.””

          meh. I have friends who’ve worked in the NYC public school system for ~15 years. getting hip to the score took most of them the better part of a decade. He seems a little young and not-so-salty.

          1. You’d be surprised.

            For example, the NYC council is term-limited now. So it’s basically a bunch of young “activists” at the beginning of their long careers of soaking the public for money. They ALL know the score coming in to office.

        2. He was a substitute teacher for Middle School in Minnesota. “Teacher” seems like a stretch.

    2. So you realize that politics is a giant patronage system, but you also reject his practice of direct action.

      What’s left?

      1. “Direct action” which has resulted in exactly what?

        1. Here in Chicago, it’s resulted in the firing of the superintendent of police along with the indictment of a police officer for murder. His fellow gangsters in blue are also feeling the pinch now that their dashcam-destroying antics have been revealed, thanks to the same protests, and apparently officers are now returning with 70% more footage from their duty shifts than before.

          How much of that do you think happens without protests?

          1. Did the protests cause the video to be released, or were the protests a result of the video?

          2. Yeah. I think BLM gets a lot of things wrong. But they aren’t completely wrong or completely ineffective. I’m still optimistic that they might do some good, as irritating as I find a lot of that sort of activism.

            1. BLM, or groups affiliated in some way with them, or groups who receive attention, produce word salad like this. That is not helpful.

          3. the firing of the superintendent of police

            Are you new to Chicago? That’s always been a figurehead position, filled by a worthless piece of shit since the job was created. Lots of police get indicted for murder, none get convicted. All the hassles directed toward the police will be forgotten once they threaten to strike. Then all the BLM’s bitching about the police will change their tune and complain that there aren’t enough police in their neighborhoods.

            And when the place finally does collapse, Madigan, Emmanuel, Lewis, et al will all blame outsiders like Rauner, bond rating agencies, the courts, etc. for ruining their kind-hearted and sound economic plans of free shit and raises for everybody.

          4. How much of that do you think happens without protests?

            That’s a good point about Chicago. I agree the protests are a big reason the things you listed happened. Not the only reason, but a big part of it.

            I don’t see the same effect in Baltimore whatsoever. In fact I would argue that in most places these protests have occurred little has changed.

            Looking at cases like Corey Maye from back in the days of Radney Balko I believe it’s media coverage and investigative journalism that creates more change. This is not to say they shouldn’t protest, but Baltimore isn’t going to change because people stopped traffic.

          5. ” it’s resulted in the firing of the superintendent of police along with the indictment of a police officer for murder””

            How much of that do you think happens without protests?

            If the net result is nothing but deck-chair shuffling i’m not sure what the case being made is? that protests are nevertheless necessary, if not sufficient? sure, fine. The point being made about the antics of Mckesson & his peers in the BLM movement was the very-high ratio of “symbolic bullshit-to-actual-practical-demands”. I have no doubt that their very-visible actions occasionally yield scalps and some pandering words.

            I was just noting that there’s a huge leap from that sort of “one-shot protest” accomplishments….to actually dealing with the institutional structures that make urban corruption so persistent. And that it might be interesting to watch this guy learn that many of his so-called “Allies” are actually part of the problem.

            1. That’s kinda what some Greeks like Tsipras discovered. Most of them learned to stop worrying and love Leviathan.

      2. dismantling the patronage system? was that not an obvious option?

        1. How are you supposed to do it if electoral politics and direct action are both too stupid to entertain?

          1. Who said that?

            I said he seems to not even understand what the game is. particularly given his background.

            Its certainly possible to dismantle the patronage system in inner city politics if you understand that to be the goal, and you build a constituency around that end, getting stakeholders within institutions and forcing some buy-in from the very people who ultimately will lose (some) power. It also helps if you’ve got huge amounts of money and some outside forces pressuring the system.

            1. It also helps if you’ve got huge amounts of money and some outside forces pressuring the system.

              This is why Maduro blames outsiders for all of Venezuela’s problems.

              I don’t see why American cities can’t be encouraged to continue their policy of voluntary self-destruction. Reasoning with them just makes them mad. Encouraging them won’t make them re-evaluate, but it may make them die sooner by their own hand.

              1. The example i was actually thinking of re:

                “It also helps if you’ve got huge amounts of money and some outside forces pressuring the system.”

                was Michelle Rhee

                She was brought in to “fix” D.C.’s school system. the thing was, i think people were surprised when she actually started to do exactly that. She initially had the support of the president, a lot of national ‘reform’ movements, etc. But then she started to fire lots of people and tear up the union-playbook and people were all like, “Whoa bitch”.

                I think people expected her to be Joel Klein-redux – someone who used the post as a stepping stone to embiggen their career. Make some superficial changes, say “we tried”, and move on to some other bureaucratic gig. Instead she set the whole thing on fire. It didn’t help she was asian and a little bit “fuck you get out of my way”. In the end she was canned and the unions “won”, but it was a very interesting modern example of an attempt at scorched-earth urban-school-reform.

      3. What’s left?

        Indirect action.

        I believe it involves a lot, and I mean a LOT of hashtags.

  19. Did any of you see him on Colbert? I already have little respect for Colbert to begin with from an interview standpoint, but this set the car even lower.

    DeRay Mckesson Helps Stephen Address His Privilege

    It’s just embarrassing.

      1. I think you meant *barf

    1. Now that you understand teh evils of your whiteness, what are you going to do about it?

  20. In other criminal law news, NBC reports that Colin Powell and Condeleza Rice also got classified information on their personal email accounts. They say

    In a letter to Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy dated Feb. 3, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick said that the State Department has determined that 12 emails examined from State’s archives contained national security information now classified “Secret” or “Confidential.” The letter was read to NBC News.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us…..ls-n511181

    Yeah that is totally just like setting up your own private server and stripping the markings off classified documents and there being hundreds of emails on the server with TS and NAP level information. Totality the same.

    All you people can just stop picking on Hillary over this fake scandal now.

    1. How was it classified when the emails were sent?

      Rice and Powell are out of politics now, it seems. Maybe they should be investigated more too. But the woman who is somewhat likely to be the next goddamn president is probably the one you want to scrutinize more.

      Not sure how other people being a bit loose with the rules excuses Hillary’s shit.

      1. It is classified by the agency. The key point about the case with Powell and Rice is that they received emails with classified information in them. They didn’t send such emails and they didn’t receive classified documents. And the information wasn’t marked. So, basically someone mentioned classified information in an email to their private accounts. it is a big nothing but will be played as a get out of jail free card for Hillary.

      2. “Not sure how other people being a bit loose with the rules excuses Hillary’s shit.”

        “Duh. Two wrongs make a right.”

        /current progressive consensus.

        1. I like Zeb but the fact that he had to ask that makes me wonder if he ever reads anything Tony posts on here. “They did it too” and false equivalency is like page one of the Prog playbook.

          1. I don’t think he made the “they did it too” argument, I think he explicitly disagreed with that argument as made by the NBC Hilary shill that wrote the article. Am I missing something or did you just read the first line of his post and conclude he was taking swings at you?

            1. I didn’t think that at all. I think he was legitimately puzzled at how anyone could think that gets Hillary off. And he is right to be so. It is just that Progs are that shameless and will try and claim that it does. You watch.

              1. Ah I see. They’ll go through that whole playback of fallacies before they’ll allow Hilary’s inevitableness to evaporate.

    2. In other news – email technology and usage has changed a lot over the past 25 years.

  21. I cringe whenever I see anyone use the word “problematic”.

    1. Your posture as it pertains to “problematic” perhaps poses a problem.

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