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Opinion DeRay Mckesson speaks on Black Lives Matter, Baltimore, Bill Clinton and that blue vest

DeRay McKesson talks race, politics and his blue vest. (Video: Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)

This week, Deray Mckesson, Black Lives Matter activist and Baltimore mayoral candidate, dropped by The Post to speak on his plans for Black Lives Matter, Baltimore and social media, his views on Bill Clinton and race, and exactly why he wears that blue vest all the time.

Mckesson rose to national prominence as one of the most recognizable Black Lives Matter activists since he left his life in Minneapolis to join in the Ferguson protests in August 2014 after the death of Michael Brown at the hands of officer Darren Wilson. In February, Mckesson announced his plans to run for mayor of Baltimore, his home town, releasing a detailed 26-page plan to transform the city — with plans to innovate change in education, safety, crime and even the arts.

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But will his national social media popularity (more than 300,000 followers on Twitter) translate into local votes for the 30-year-old candidate? Recent polling puts him at less than 1 percent, far behind more established candidates Catherine E. Pugh and former mayor Sheila Dixon a few weeks ahead of the April 26 primary. Still, McKesson remains seemingly unfazed. “We will continue connecting with voters by knocking doors, making calls and using social media up until April 26. Every day, I talk to voters who want change, who believe in a stronger Baltimore and who pledged their support to my candidacy.”

DeRay McKesson talks race, politics and his blue vest. (Video: Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)
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