Approximately 19 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.
Getting to Know Mayor Wayne Messam
If one mayor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, can find lightning in the 2020 presidential bottle, why can’t two find the same thing?
Although Mayor Buttigieg still has a puncher’s chance at the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne Messam has yet to capture the party’s attention like his counterpart from South Bend, Ind.
“Mayors are the closest to the American people and understand the day to day issues our communities face,” Messam said in describing why a mayor should become the 46th President of the United States. “That’s why I led the effort to beat out China to create jobs in my city. That’s why I sued the state of Florida to defeat a state law that punishes local leaders from pushing for gun reform.
“That’s why I helped pass a living wage for city workers. That’s why I fought to stop drilling near the Everglades that would threaten the drinking water of eight million Floridians. And that’s why I’ve called for resolving the $1.5 trillion in crippling student loan debt.”
While Mayor Messam gained some attention when he kicked off his campaign, and even more press when he vowed to cancel student loan debt, his mayoral experience has not resulted in success in Democratic presidential polls.
Furthermore, during the first half of 2019, the Messam presidential campaign had only garnered $100,000 in donations.
In September, BuzzFeed released a report that showed a campaign in peril with no hope for any success.
BuzzFeed reported, “The documents and staffers, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect future employment prospects, depicted a no-hope campaign that nonetheless was embroiled in bitter disputes over money and control.
“In particular, staffers claim that Wayne and his wife, Angela Messam, have refused to pay them for their work. All of the staff members and vendors that BuzzFeed spoke with said they were never fully compensated for their work on the campaign and, in some cases, weren’t paid at all for expenses they’d fronted from their own bank accounts, including business cards for the campaign and flights, hotel rooms, and security costs for a trip to the Middle East.
“In some instances, staffers were told by the Messams that the couple believed them to be ‘volunteering’ for the campaign, despite emails from senior staff to the Messams telling about start dates for employees, and what staffers say were verbal agreements and offer letters from the campaign for their positions.”
Despite the controversy and lack of success, Messam carries on his presidential bid.
He believes that since he does not have Washington, D.C. roots, his candidacy will resonate with voters.
President Donald Trump ascended to the White House by focusing on his outsider and businessperson attributes.
Messam said, “I do not believe that the best ideas come from Washington.”
Some of Messam’s ideas include addressing climate change, broadening access to decent healthcare, creating a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and maintaining abortion rights.
Messam wants to end the filibuster like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Furthermore, the Miramar, Fla. mayor wants to eliminate the Electoral College from presidential elections.
And like Sen. Warren would say, when it comes to gun reform Messam has a plan for that too.
And although Messam’s 2020 presidential bid has yet to produce much success, his life prior to this point has personified success.
He helped the Florida State University football team win a national championship.
Messam starred as a wide receiver for the Florida State Seminoles.
The future mayor found success running his own construction company after his college days.
Messam has a history of winning close elections in the state of Florida.
In 2015, Messam beat a 16-year incumbent by four points to become mayor of Miramar, Fla.
However, by 2019 he won the mayoral race by receiving a whopping 86 percent of the vote.
He fought to make Miramar, Fla. a sanctuary city.
And he fought to stop construction of an oil well in the Everglades, close to Miramar, Fla.
But Vox.com said that canceling student loan debt is Messam’s most thought out proposal.
Vox.com reported, “Messam proposes forgiving everyone’s student debt. Federal loans would be forgiven and private loans would be paid by the federal government. Messam projects this would cost $1.5 trillion, and he wants to pay that cost by increasing payroll taxes with more than 50 employees by 0.5 percent and by reversing Donald Trump’s signature 2017 corporate tax cuts.
“He argues that this plan would also stimulate the economy, as he feels those relieved of their debts will use the funds they once used for their monthly loan repayments to invest in their homes, businesses, and further education. As this would be a one-time cancellation, Messam wants to ensure the debts tomorrow’s students take on are more manageable by increasing federal Pell Grant money and by expanding free community college programs.”
Messam also wants to address criminal justice discrimination.
His campaign website said, “People who face discrimination due to the color of their skin, are often obstructed by institutional barriers across our society, and this is particularly poignant within the criminal justice system.
“In Miramar, we’ve passed Ban The Box to ensure people can get a second chance, prioritized police diversity and actively foster community engagement. We must do the same on the federal level.
“What’s more, the drug war has proven to be a failure. In the process, it has ruined thousands of lives, especially in communities of color. We all want safe streets, but we must ensure that every street has the same opportunity to grow up without threat of being thrown into the school-to-prison pipeline.”