Connor Meek, the 27-year-old whose opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun about police stations being closed led to policy reversal and heavy press coverage, has filed to run for mayor.
Meek this week filed as an unaffiliated candidate for mayor, meaning he will need to gather more than 4,000 signatures from registered voters in Baltimore to get on the ballot for the general election.
Police in July ordered all city police stations to stay open around the clock after Meek wrote an account of how he was robbed of his bicycle and found the nearest station closed, drawing concern from community leaders and elected officials.
Below is a statement from Meek on why he has filed to run:
Some may have been surprised to hear that yesterday I declared my intent to run as an unaffiliated petition candidate for the office of Mayor of Baltimore. This decision was not made lightly. There are several goals that I will accomplish over the coming months, hopefully with support from my fellow citizens. In one day we have already made significant progress.
The first statement I intend to make is that civic engagement is not beyond the reach of the ordinary citizen. The role of Mayor is reserved for no one. Any caring citizen with commitment and dedication can run for office. We just don't do it for some reason. We should. Additionally, we do not need money to run a successful campaign. I will accept no campaign contributions. I will not need them. How can a candidate claim to care about Baltimore's impoverished families, and at the same time spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaign advertisements that don't say much more than the candidates' names? And are we to believe that campaign contributions don't cause conflicts of interest? If you support my candidacy and would like to make a donation, please donate that money to one of the many local charities and nonprofits struggling every day to provide for our less-fortunate. They need it. I don't. Contact me if you'd like some suggestions. There is a $150 filing fee required for each candidate. But don't worry - I'll pay it myself. My candidacy is also a response to the failure of the bipartisan system in Baltimore. We aren't given much of a choice. A Democratic Primary victory should not be tantamount to election in a city with such a diverse population. By supporting a petition candidate, you can prove that U.S. politics is not necessarily a struggle between Democrats and Republicans. Our values are not necessarily the values approved by either party. We are capable of representing ourselves, and changing our political landscape for the better on our own terms. There is much work to be done. I have many plans for the future of Baltimore, but am just one man. Six hundred thousand heads are better than one. If I am elected Mayor, I want to be ready for the job. Please help me in my efforts. Anyone who has constructive ideas for the future, or information regarding issues currently being neglected by city government, I encourage you to contact your elected officials, but also email me at email@example.com. This election is a long way away. If we plan ahead we can hit the ground running. The sad fact is that we are currently failing, and being failed by our city government. In the eyes of the world our beautiful city has been reduced to a headline in a foreign paper, a car on fire. The name of a young man most of us weren't given the opportunity to meet. We must move beyond blame and focus our energy on more constructive things. We must rebuild. We must hold each other accountable, protect our livelihoods, and we must protect our children. But if you must focus on blaming someone for our current situation, let us all share the blame for the fact that the richest and most powerful nation on earth can't seem to take care of its own. By disregarding our civic duty, we all contribute to that failure. If elected Mayor, my every decision will adhere to three values: Communication, Transparency, and Accountability. Three things we do not get from our current administration. Three things we need.