A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Several mayoral candidates gather for a forum on community development

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DeRay McKessan

In truth, nothing particularly funny happened at the Southwest Partnership Candidate Forum Tuesday night. Although, upon entering the church where it was being held, my phone rang (it was on vibrate, I’m not a total heathen) and one of the greeters told me it better be Jesus calling—that was funny. (Spoiler: it wasn’t Jesus.)

The forum centered around community development, particularly for the Poppleton, Hollins Market, Union Square, Mount Clare, Franklin Square and surrounding neighborhoods. Of the 20-some candidates running, 10 appeared at the forum, all from the Democratic side.

To be honest, the candidates mostly agreed on the topics—improving recreation centers, expanding and integrating public transportation, creating more parks and green spaces, and making small businesses a priority. For a better look at some of the more prominent candidates, check out STYLE’s mayoral profile.

After that piece was already finished, however, there was one more underdog candidate to enter the race: DeRay McKesson. He’s a well-known #BlackLivesMatter activist with a large twitter following and national profile as one of the leaders of that movement. He’s also easily spotted with his signature blue Patagonia vest. (He was even wearing it over his shirt and tie at the forum.)

McKesson is sure to be an interesting wrench in a mix that includes an ex-mayor, the Maryland Senate Majority Leader and prominent city council members.

We may not have a Trump (ha!) card here in Baltimore, but this race is certainly one to watch.

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