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Baltimore Mayoral Candidate On Why He's Not Part Of The Establishment

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/03/2016 Quora
BALTIMORE © Joseph Binder via Getty Images BALTIMORE

These questions originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.Answers by DeRay Mckesson, candidate, 2016 Baltimore mayor election, on Quora.Q: Previous mayors, black and white, have not been able to turn things around in Baltimore. Why do you think you can do it?

A: For too long, Baltimore has passed leadership positions from one establishment politician to the next establishment politician -- and this volleying has led us to the situation that we're currently in.

I'm not a part of the establishment. I am not beholden to special interests. The platform that I've released is focused on creating strategies to bring solutions to scale to actually changed the lived reality of people's today's and tomorrows.

There are people across the city who are ready for a change and ready for fresh leadership that isn't beholden to establishment politics.

Q: How did Twitter cover Ferguson differently than mainstream media?

A: We, as historically marginalized people, often face issues of erasure that manifest in two main ways: (1) either the stories are never told; (2) or they're told by everyone but us. And in August 2014, Twitter allowed us to become the unerased. We became our own storytellers, we were able to push back on mainstream narratives that called the protestors "mobs" and that didn't question the police accounts at all. And Twitter allowed us to connect with each other in ways that we never could've imagined -- it opened up new spaces for community-building and organizing.

In many ways, I think that we are in the early stages of understanding the power of social media, especially Twitter, as an organizing tool. We can connect with each other and building infrastructure in digital spaces in revolutionary ways, now.

Q: How bad is the problem of structural racism in America's police departments?

A: Over the past 18 months, there's been a national consensus that the culture of policing in America is broken, that the culture itself is flawed and that in order for communities to truly be safe, we must address the culture of policing.

There is a culture of policing that criminalizes people of color and low-income people and we have to address that. There are a set of structural issues that we can address and we've mapped out changes here: Campaign Zero.

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