Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant Announces Bid for Congress

WASHINGTON — A pastor who was highly visible during the unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death says he’s running for Congress.

Jamal Bryant announced Monday that he will seek to represent the 7th District.

Bryant, who leads the Empowerment Temple, delivered the eulogy at the funeral for Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody. He says a new generation must “deal with the ill effects of racism and sexism.” Bryant says he’ll work to keep manufacturing jobs in America, address climate change and fight to change tax policy and reduce the deficit.

Rep. Elijah Cummings currently holds the seat, but has been weighing a run for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat that will be open when Sen. Barbara Mikulski retires.

Read Bryant’s full announcement below:

“This morning I am officially announcing my candidacy for the Congress Of the United States for the 7th district of Maryland. I do so today not to oppose any man or woman, but to propose new ideas.

America the country I love, is facing a great many crisis, at home and abroad. America the greatest country on the planet, is asking this generation, it’s forty something sons and daughters to stand and lead, regardless of race, creed, color or ethnicity, to ensure that this democracy lives up to its promise to all citizens.

The poor are poorer, the middle class is shrinking every single day, our wages are down, our economy is flat, our schools fall short, crime is high, and (pause) the police are letting us all down. There is absolutely no money flowing from the federal government into our communities. In Washington our current leader, is busy going along to get along.

My life experiences make me uniquely positioned, with a perspective as an educator, leading a successful charter school, an activist, a civil rights leader, a pastor of a great church, a national spiritual leader, and the awesome responsibility of being a father to my 5 girls.

This new generation of leaders must finally deal with the cause and effect of racism in America. This new generation of leaders must recognize that global warming is real, and that it not only threatens our water, our crops, our air, our wildlife, but the entire world as we know it. The new generation, that is my age, knows that a superpower must not spend its treasury abroad, before it takes care of things at home. My generation stands on the shoulders of history. From the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, to the Boston Tea Party, to the battle ofFort McHenry, to Pearl Harbor, to the USS Abraham Lincoln. Because of the courage and sacrifice of those that has gone before, the righteousness of their cause lives and abides in us.

Let me say today to my friends, in neighborhoods and communities across this district, that a leader that does not listen and that does not deliver, is in no way good enough for the great citizens of the 7th Congressional district. I want to say today to my friends in Baltimore, that the lack of equal access to opportunity, for our young urban youth is in no way good enough for the great citizens of the 7th Congressional District. I want to say today to my friends in Washington, that bickering and partisanship, is in no way good enough for the great citizens in the 7th Congressional District. I want to say today, to my international friends that democracy must prevail, and that anything less than full support for Isreal is in no way good enough for the great citizens of the 7th Congressional district.

My generation and I will stand and lead our nation and say to our nation that fair unabridged equal access to opportunity for all citizens must become a reality. I now ask my old friends and my new friends in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and in Howard County to join me and participate in this campaign. I first and foremost need you to pray for me and our team, send us your small dollar contributions volunteer, Spread the word and Vote for me Jamal Bryant for Congress, April 2016.

God bless the people of the 7th Congressional district, God bless the people of the Great State of Maryland and God Bless the United States of America.”

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(TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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