In the 173 years of Florida becoming the “Sunshine State” of America, never once has an African American male or female been elected as Governor. Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum believes he has what it takes to change that narrative and rewrite history.
Growing up as the fifth of seven children to a mother who drove school buses and whose father was a construction worker; Gillum rose out of the struggle of intergenerational poverty to become the first in his family to graduate both high school and college. While attending Historically Black University Florida A&M University, he became the youngest person in history elected to Tallahassee City Commission, before later being elected as Mayor.
A devoted husband to Lady R. Jai Gillum and father of 3 young children, Gillum understands the necessity of pushing forward legislation that allows for equal pay for women all across the board to level the playing field and also fight against legislation that aims to discredit a woman’s right to choose when making their health care decisions.
Having a sibling whose has been through the criminal justice system, Gillum understands the difficulty of many individuals who struggle with establishing themselves in society after doing time in prison majority of time for low-level offenses including marijuana possession.
“I believe we can tax marijuana and use that revenue to better fund our public schools. We can reform our criminal justice system while also investing in our public schools.”
Gillum is the the only candidate that fought against the National Rifle Association (NRA) and won, and as Governor he wants to get weapons of war off our city streets, and repeal the “Stand Your Ground” law which allowed for George Zimmerman to walk away with no jail time in the murder of teenager Trayvon Martin.
Although tremendous strides have been made in regards to LGBTQ rights when the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage constitutional, there is still much work to be done in the state of Florida. Over the course of his political career, Gillum has been a constant supporter of LGBTQ rights opening the doors of Tallahassee as a safe haven for same-sex couples to gain marriage licenses when other counties denied them their rights. However, LGBTQ individuals are still exposed to discrimination in public or the workplace; Gillum plans to press the demand for equal treatment and equal rights through statewide policies.
“Florida’s diversity is our strength…”
In wake of Trump administration immigration policies that have led to the deportation and separation of thousands of families across the nation, Gillum believes this is an issue of a lack of moral compass within our country. He understands that many immigrants have contributed greatly in America becoming some of the brightest students and leaders of our time; contributing to the special country that America is today.
“This moral crisis demands our leaders to stand up to this outrage in unequivocal terms, and will we not turn away from what the Trump Administration is doing to these families.”
Gillum believes the idea that we must choose between security and compassionate immigration policies is false when in fact we can have both.
With Stacey Abrams’ historic win as she tries to become the first African American female governor in American history, Andrew is also charting an historic path. Recently he earned the support of Tom Steyer and NextGen America, including a $1 million endorsement towards Gillum’s effort. Since Abrams’ win in the Georgia primary, Gillum has received endorsements from the Working Families Party (WPP), the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida (DBCF), and New Florida Majority.
“Stacey’s helping rewrite the political playbook of what our Democratic nominees are supposed to look like…we’re both trying to show our respective states a new way forward, because unfortunately for a long time in both Georgia and Florida we’ve tried to run a very safe campaigns down the middle — but those haven’t worked out for us.
Being the only Democratic candidate that is not a millionaire, Gillum has shown throughout continuous service and a strong work ethic that you can go from the bottom to the top while still fighting for everyday, working people. It is safe to say that Gillum is the change that we need to see in Florida — a man that is capable for making a drastic difference and create history in the process.