South Florida mayor Wayne Messam starts push for presidency with ‘American Dream’ rally

In the first speech of his presidential campaign, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam on Saturday said he’s aiming to “give Americans a second chance at the American Dream.”

The 44-year-old son of Jamaican immigrants said his top priorities are greatly reducing gun violence and preventing mass shootings, eliminating college loan debt, reversing harmful climate change, and rebuilding ties with America’s allies across the planet.

“We will meet this challenge,” Messam told the crowd at the Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. He used the “Black Panther” movie song “Pray for Me” as his theme music.

More than two dozen supporters held campaign signs and stood on the stage behind Messam, as he spoke under a large banner with his slogan “WAYNE for America” and the hashtag “ChangeCantWait.”

He cited the tragedies of the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Stoneman Douglas senior Jada Decoste was among the featured speakers Saturday before Messam.

“No longer can we blindly accept that our country has a mass shooting nearly every single day,” Messam said. “It’s time to stop playing games with American lives … one more child lost to gun violence is one too many.”

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