Rumor: DeRay is not from Baltimore City.

Fact: DeRay was born at University of Maryland hospital in Baltimore City on July 9, 1985. He lived off of Presbury and Poplar Grove Streets until the 4th grade, after which the family lived in the Hilton neighborhood with his grandparents for one year. His father then moved with his children to Catonsville, where DeRay completed 6th - 12th grade, while splitting his time between Catonsville and Hilton.

Rumor: DeRay has never organized in Baltimore City.

Fact: DeRay began organizing in Baltimore in 1999, when he worked with Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign, and Youth As Resources. As a Youth Organizer with Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign, DeRay trained young people and adults on youth/adult partnerships and assisted in creating city-wide strategies for youth engagement. As the Chair of Youth as Resources, DeRay led a board of youth and adults in grant-making which funded youth-led community projects across the city. Read his full resume.

Rumor: DeRay did not speak with any Baltimore residents before deciding to run for Mayor.

Fact: Baltimore is DeRay’s hometown. He was born and raised in Baltimore and has lived in Baltimore longer than he has lived anywhere else. In deciding to run for Mayor, DeRay sought counsel and feedback from many individuals from Baltimore, including local activist Tawanda Jones, writer/professor D Watkins, and photographer Devin Allen.

Rumor: Teach For America sent DeRay to Baltimore to run for Mayor.

Fact: DeRay’s desire to run for mayor is rooted in a belief in the power and promise of Baltimore, and a desire to make the city of Baltimore work for the people. He has never been an employee of Teach For America (TFA). He was a corps member with TFA, which assisted in placing him into a school within the New York City Department of Education. TFA assists in placing teachers throughout the country and, through TFA, DeRay taught 6th grade math in a New York City public school in East New York, Brooklyn from 2007-2009 and was an employee of the New York City Public School system. For more information regarding Teach For America, please visit their website.

Rumor: DeRay supports the privatization of public schools.

Fact: DeRay believes in vibrant, dynamic public schools and that every student should have access to an education that prepares them for college or a career that will support a family.

DeRay’s commitment to public education is deep and longstanding. He has worked for three urban public school districts: New York City, Baltimore City, and Minneapolis. In Baltimore City and Minneapolis, where he served as a senior leader in Human Capital, DeRay worked to find the best teachers and staff, regardless of the pipeline program or pathway to certification, to support the learning for students across the district.

Rumor: DeRay is funded by the Illuminati, George Soros, or Teach For America.

Fact: As the Senior Director of Human Capital with Minneapolis Public Schools, DeRay’s salary was $110,000. He has used his salary, savings and his retirement monies, along with support from friends, family and speaking engagements, to sustain himself over the past 18 months. As has been publicly noted, DeRay was awarded the Peter Jennings Award by Teach For America, for which he received $5,000.

DeRay is not being paid or sponsored by any individual or organization to run to be the next Mayor of Baltimore.

Rumor: DeRay does not support teachers unions.

Fact: DeRay continues to believe in the importance of collective bargaining. DeRay served as a school-based chapter leader for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City for two years, elected by his peer teachers. He was an active union member, managing the school-based option process for his school and representing teachers at disciplinary hearings.

Rumor: DeRay is sponsored by Patagonia, Twitter, Doritos, Talenti, Apple, Spotify or McDonalds.

Fact: Contrary to online postings, DeRay is not sponsored by anyone or any company/organization for any of his work, whether it is his activism or his campaign to be the next Mayor of Baltimore. DeRay tweets about issues, activities, and events that he personally cares about.

Rumor: DeRay’s campaign is not transparent.

Fact: DeRay is the only candidate running for Mayor of Baltimore whose digital campaign contributions are tracked in real-time, live. DeRay will continue to meet all campaign finance filing deadlines and has received donations from over 2,000 people in the first 15 days of the campaign.

Rumor: DeRay did not file the necessary paperwork to fundraise.

Fact: As reported by the Baltimore Sun, DeRay has filed all necessary paperwork to run for office prior to the deadline and in accordance with applicable Baltimore City and Maryland election rules and laws.

Rumor: As a former corps member of Teach For America, DeRay advocates for policies that harm schools.

Fact: The mission of Teach For America (TFA) is to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible to become teachers or leaders in education and work to ensure that all kids have access to a great education. As a former human capital leader in two public school systems, DeRay is familiar with the challenges of ensuring that all students are taught by great teachers. As an alum, DeRay recognizes that TFA is, like all organizations, imperfect and because of their unique role as one of the largest recruiters of new teachers, they have an obligation to ensure that all newly hired teachers are strong and represent the communities in which they teach. TFA is now one of the nation’s largest sources of African American and Hispanic Teachers, with the current corps being almost 50% people of color and DeRay looks forward to working with TFA, as an alum, to ensure that every student has access to a high quality education.

DeRay has also worked for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency (BCTR) and worked with university partners to ensure strong pipelines into the teaching profession.