Mayor Andrew Gillum
With a passion for public service, and the ability to motivate and mobilize people to action, Mayor Andrew D. Gillum is recognized statewide and nationally as an emerging leader. At the age of 23, Gillum became the youngest person ever elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in February 2003. At the time of the election, Gillum was a student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), majoring in political science. In August 2004, Mr. Gillum was re-elected to serve for a full four-year term, and was subsequently re-elected in 2008 and August 2012. He was elected Mayor of Tallahassee in August 2014.
During his 12 years of service Mayor Gillum has played a leadership role in countless community initiatives including the Landlord Tenant Mediation Program, the Code Enforcement Amnesty Program, Good Neighbor energy assistance program, and the creation of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Park. He also served as the City's chief negotiator for the consolidation of our community's Fire and EMS services, and has spearheaded several initiatives to boost economic growth through commercial utility deposit rebates, land exchanges with Florida State University, and the development of seven-day guarantee permitting.
Mayor Gillum has also always shown a great deal of passion when it comes to investing in the youth of our community. In an effort to close the digital divide in Tallahassee, Mayor Gillum created the Digital Harmony Initiative in 2004. Digital Harmony brought together business, civic and educational leaders to provide R. Frank Nims Middle School, an otherwise struggling school, new at-home computers, internet access, and educational learning software for free to all incoming
sixth-graders for three years. In 2010, Mayor Gillum was also instrumental in converting a former neighborhood recreational center into the Palmer-Monroe Teen Center. The Center works daily to meet the emotional, physical, artistic and educational needs of area teens, and also runs a restorative justice program called Community Connections that serves to deter youth away from the Court system and toward productive and constructive activity.
As Mayor, Andrew has a bold vision for Tallahassee and the most robust opportunities we as a community have for collectively building a better future. Mayor Gillum has identifiedseveral key initiatives that he will focus on during his first year in office.
Born on July 26, 1979 in Miami, Mayor Gillum was raised in Gainesville as the fifth of seven children born to Frances and Charles Gillum. When he graduated from Gainesville High School in 1998, he was recognized by the Gainesville Sun as one of the city's "Persons of the Year."
After high school, Mayor Gillum attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), and was very active in the university's Student Government Association (SGA), serving as the Senate President, before being elected to SGA President, serving from 2001-02. While in office, he served as the first student member of the FAMU Board of Trustees, and was an appointee to FAMU Presidential Search Committee, the State of Florida Higher Education Funding Advisory Board, and the Leon County Civic Center Authority Board.
Mayor Gillum's impact spread statewide when he accepted the position of Florida Field Organizer with People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). In 2002, he organized and led the largest get-out-the-vote campaign in Florida's history, titled "Arrive With 5". In 2003, the Florida Democratic Party recruited Gillum tFollowing the 2000 Presidential election, Mayor Gillum addressed the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on election violations in the state of Florida. He was also instrumental in organizing the historic March on Tallahassee in protest of Governor Jeb Bush's executive order to abolish affirmative action in state university admissions and state contracting. As a result of his advocacy efforts, the Center for Policy Alternatives (Washington, DC) recognized him as the country's top student leader in 2001.
o serve as its Interim Political Director, but his passion for organizing get-out-the-vote campaigns led him back to PFAWF as the statewide Director of the "Arrive With 5" program. Following the 2004 election, Mayor Gillum took on another leadership role at PFAWF as National Deputy Director of Young People For, a national campus-based program for emerging progressive leaders. He then created the Young Elected Officials Network in 2006 to add to the leadership pipeline and support young elected leaders like himself from around the country. Mayor Gillum now serves as the Director of Youth Leadership Programs for PFAWF which oversees three program areas: Young People For, the Front Line Leaders Academy, and the Young Elected Officials Network.
Mayor Gillum is a member of the Board of Directors for The Schott Foundation for Public Education, the New World Foundation, and the Opportunity To Learn Action Fund. He completed Harvard Kennedy School's 2009-summer session of their Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program and is a graduate of the Rockwood Yearlong Fellowship for Executive Leaders "Leading From the Inside Out" program. He is a member of Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Incorporated (Boule'), the FAMU National Alumni Association, and Bethel AME Church.
Mayor Gillum has received numerous awards and recognitions for his passion and service over the years, and has been named an emerging leader by the Congressional Black Caucus, Jet Magazine, Ebony Magazine, the Association of Trial Lawyers for America (ATLA), The Drum Major Institute, IMPACT, and the Washington Post. He has also been regularly featured on several local and national news mediums including MSNBC, CNN, the Huffington Post, and the Tallahassee Democrat on various civic and social justice issues.
Gillum resides in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife, R. Jai, and their twin children Caroline and Jackson.