Born in Miami, Florida, on July 26, 1979, Andrew Gillum holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Florida A&M University, where he was very active in the Student Government Association. In early 2000, he helped organize a large “March on Tallahassee” to protest Governor Jeb Bush’s 1999 executive order abolishing affirmative action in state university admissions …
Born in Miami, Florida, on July 26, 1979, Andrew Gillum holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Florida A&M University, where he was very active in the Student Government Association. In early 2000, he helped organize a large “March on Tallahassee” to protest Governor Jeb Bush’s 1999 executive order abolishing affirmative action in state university admissions and state contracting. To reward Gillum’s activism vis-a-vis this and other matters, the Center for Policy Alternatives recognized him as the nation’s top student leader in 2001. In 2002, Gillum became the Florida Field Organizer with the People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF), spearheading its “Arrive With 5” initiative — a voter-mobilization campaign whereby young people pledged to bring five additional voters with them to the polls on Election Day.
In March 2003 the Florida Democratic Party recruited Gillum to serve as its interim Political Director, but just nine months later he returned to his previous position with PFAWF. Also in 2003, Gillum was elected to the Tallahassee City Council, a post he would hold for the next 11 years.
In late 2004, Gillum, in addition to his City Council duties, became the National Deputy Director of PFAWF’s “Young People For” program, a campus-based initiative designed to develop young leftist leaders across the United States. In 2005 he established the Young Elected Officials Network, which had a similar mission. The leading funder of this organization was George Soros‘s Open Society Institute.
In 2014, Gillum was elected Mayor of Tallahassee. In 2016 he was given a platform from which to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
On August 28, 2018, Gillum won the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial primary race in Florida. Among the more noteworthy endorsers of his campaign were Senator Bernie Sanders and the activist groups Democracy For America and Our Revolution.
- strongly favors the expansion of Obamacare as a step toward a government-run, single-payer healthcare system;
- strongly favors government-enforced affirmative action policies designed to compensate nonwhites and women for the effects of past and present discrimination;
- strongly favors a steeply progressive income-tax structure where high earners pay disproportionately high rates, and where corporate taxes are increased significantly;
- strongly favors the implementation of a pathway-to-citizenship for illegal aliens;
- strongly favors the enactment of carbon taxes, higher CAFE standards for automobiles, and federal funding for the research-and-development of wind and solar power technology;
- strongly opposes Voter ID laws as racist schemes that are designed to suppress minority voting;
- believes that the enactment of voucher programs through which low-income parents can take their children out of substandard public schools and send them instead to superior private schools, constitutes bad public policy;
- believes that the availability of guns should be severely restricted, even for law-abiding citizens who have never been convicted of a crime, and that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee Americans the right to possess a firearm;
- supports a complete ban on so-called “assault weapons”;
- believes that the federal government should inject large amounts of funding – in the form of cash as well as federal job-creation programs – to help the U.S. economy recover from downturns that it may experience;
- believes that the nationalization of banks and corporations is more appropriate than government bailouts of those entities when they fail economically;
- calls for a national $15-per-hour minimum wage requirement for all workers; and
- advocates the repeal of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” gun laws which permit people to use deadly force if they feel that their lives are threatened by an aggressor or assailant.
During his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, Gillum released a video demanding that President Donald Trump be impeached because he had “obstructed justice” by firing former FBI Director James Comey.
The two leading individual donors to Gillum’s 2018 campaign were the prominent billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer. On August 23, 2018, Soros, who already had contributed $1 million to Gillum’s Forward Florida political committee, announced that he was giving $250,000 more. And Steyer, who had previously funneled $500,000 to Forward Florida, pledged another $300,000. These August donations coincided with a $3.5 million get-out-the-vote effort by a coalition of pro-Gillum leftist organizations. “I’m obviously deeply appreciative of Mr. Soros, as well as Mr. Steyer, both men who I’ve known them for some time,” said Gillum.
In September 2018. the Washington Free Beacon reported that Gillum “has aligned himself with several prominent anti-Semitic organizations known for promoting boycotts of Jewish goods and individuals,” most notably the Hamas-inspired Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Dream Defenders. On August 29, 2018, Gillum appeared on a podcast where he was asked to comment on a recent conflict wherein the Israeli military had killed 60 Palestinians — mostly members of Hamas — who were among tens of thousands of Gaza-based rioters trying to infiltrate the Jewish state with jihadists and terrorists. Gillum replied: “None of us can look at those images and be okay with it … at the hands of this [Trump] administration, we now have even cited more violence by recognizing Jerusalem to be the capital [of Israel] and also to locate the United States embassy there, again just adding more fuel to the fire. I think it was a provocation by the president that was unnecessary and it has been costly from a human toll.” Later in the interview, Gillum characterized Israel’s military response to Hamas rocket attacks as “an outsized response that has created a humanitarian crisis.”
In addition to his political activities, Gillum also serves as a Board of Directors member with the New World Foundation. Moreover, he has been recognized as an “emerging leader” by the Congressional Black Caucus, Jet magazine, Ebony magazine, the Association of Trial Lawyers for America (American Association for Justice), The Drum Major Institute, IMPACT, and the Washington Post.
Further Reading: “Mayor Andrew Gillum” (Talgov.com, 2015); “Andrew Gillum” (Linkedin.com); “Andrew Gillum and the Extent of the Progressive Revolution” (New Yorker, 8-26-2018); “Steyer, Soros Spearhead $650K Cash Infusion for Gillum in Florida Governor’s Race” (Politico, 8-23-2018); “Andrew Gillum Thanks Big Out-of-State Money: ‘I’m Deeply Appreciative of Mr. Soros…Mr. Steyer’” (Mediaite, 9-2-2018); “Gillum Aligns With Groups That Support Boycotts of Israel” (Washington Free Beacon, 9-12-2018).