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Black Lives Matter activist Ja’Mal Green announces run for mayor of Chicago

Activist Ja'Mal Green

Community activist Ja’Mal Green announced plans Wednesday to run for mayor. | Sun-Times file photo

Community activist Ja’Mal Green is joining the growing pool of challengers to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A recognizable figure in Chicago’s Black Lives Matter movement, Green has been a longtime Emanuel critic.

“Millennials all over the world are stepping up and taking charge,” he told the Sun-Times Thursday. “In the environment we’re in today, Chicago needs change, corruption needs to end, we need a modern approach to politics in Chicago.”

Paperwork was filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections April 6 to create his political committee, Green For Chicago.

The first few days of Green’s campaign have him handing out campaign materials outside CTA Red Line stops. Green, who supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, pointed to Sanders’ and Dan Biss’ grassroots fundraising efforts as his model.

To get on the ballot, he also will have to collect 12,500 signatures on his nominating petitions — beginning Aug. 28.

Ja'Mal Green confronts police outside the Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

Protestor Ja’Mal Green confronts police outside the Fraternal Order of Police lodge, 1412 W. Washington St., in March 2016. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Part of Green’s platform include: establishing an elected board to run Chicago Public Schools; investing in neighborhood schools; spending more money on mental health centers; greater oversight of police; and decriminalizing marijuana.

After an anti-police-brutality protest at Taste of Chicago in 2016, Green was among 19 people who made headlines for being arrested. He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, but felony charges alleging he hit a police officer were dropped.

Green has been critical of former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s run for mayor, but said he could allow the city to “hear some of the skeletons he knows about Rahm.”

“I don’t think he will be the man for the job, and I don’t think Chicago will unite around a candidate that is Trump-like almost,” Green said.

Green has stepped down as CEO of Majostee Allstars youth center, which he started last year, to switch fundraising gears for his campaign.

Activist Ja’Mal Green (center).

Ja’mal Green (center), an activist who designed the “RAHM FAILED US” T-shirts, joins protesters outside the mayor’s office at City Hall on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. | Brian Jackson/For the Sun-Times