Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay Mckesson Endorses Clinton

In this March 26, 2016 photo, Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay Mckesson chats with campaign volunteers before canvassing in Baltimore. Mckesson is known on the national stage for his role in Black Lives Matter, but he's struggling as he campaigns for mayor in his hometown. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/AP

One of the most prominent activists in the Black Lives Matter movement has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

DeRay Mckesson, a former Minnesota Public Schools employee who rose to national prominence following his activism in Ferguson, Missouri after the police shooting death of Michael Brown, acknowledged Wednesday in a Washington Post editorial that voting was not “the only way to bring about transformational change” but that “elections do have consequences,” and “I agree with Clinton more than I disagree with her.”

Specifically, Mckesson pointed to Clinton’s focus on police reform, addressing mass incarceration, and expanding economic opportunities in “a $125 billion Economic Revitalization Initiative that is akin to a new New Deal, structurally investing in youth employment, re-entry, small business growth and homeownership.”

“Clinton’s platform on racial justice is strong: It is informed by the policy failings of the past and is a vision for where we need to go,” Mckesson wrote. “Politics is compromise, by its very nature. But we never compromise on our values and beliefs. I will vote for Clinton and plan to continue to challenge her on her platform and these commitments when she’s in the White House.”

Mckesson’s endorsement followed a meeting in which he and fellow BLM leader Brittany Packnett met with Clinton privately to discuss policy issues. Packnett endorsed Clinton in an interview with Elle magazine last week, saying at the time that she understood many involved in the movement were frustrated with this election.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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