The Browder family has been supplying their activist efforts to effect change through criminal justice reform in their home of New York City. But one of the Browders isn’t ready to stop at the grassroots level. The brother of the late former Rikers Island inmate, Kalief Browder (pictured up top), Akeem Browder, announced yesterday (June 19) that he plans on going head-to-head with Mayor Bill de Blasio in the race to City Hall.
The Bronx activist calls out the city’s sitting mayor for the “lip service” he served the public in reference to his declaration to permanently shut down Rikers Island. The news debuted amid the airing of JAY-Z’s executive produced Time: The Kalief Browder Story. The documentary series drew mass attention toward the issues surrounding the correctional facility.
“Kalief is a prophet. His story will save lives. You guys watching and your compassion made this happen. Thank you.” – JAY-Z on annoucement of Rikers Island closing
Admitting that he doesn’t believe the mayor of three years has an actual plan set in place, Browder states: “He knew that would get people to cheer him on.”
Kalief’s older brother announced that he’s planning to run as a Green Party nominee against his Democratic counterpart. Browder affirms that as a part of his platform’s package, the key issues he will be focusing on are homelessness, schools, and taxpayer spending.
The 34-year-old admits that his experience with activism will play a crucial role in why he believes New York City’s citizens will be on his side. “What does running as a mayor include, talking fancy? What it actually involves is knowing the people, and I’ve done that… I’ve marched in the streets with the people in every borough.”