Andrew Gillum

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Andrew Gillum
Personal details
Born (1979-07-26) July 26, 1979 (age 34)
Miami, Florida
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) R. Jai Gillum
Residence Tallahassee, Florida
Alma mater Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (B.S.)
Profession Community Organizer
Religion Christian

Andrew D. Gillum (born on July 26, 1979 in Miami) is a city commissioner in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. At the age of 23, Gillum became the youngest person ever elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in February 2003.[1]


Gillum was raised in Gainesville, Florida as the fifth of seven children born to Charles and Frances Gillum (a construction worker and school bus driver respectively.) He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1998 and, during that year, was recognized by the Gainesville Sun as one of the city's "Persons of the Year." He then moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). On May 24, 2009 he married R. Jai Howard; a fellow FAMU graduate and member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

College Life[edit]

Andrew was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation as "Emerging Leader for 2003". He also was a Board member of the Black Youth Vote Coalition, a program of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation in Washington, D.C.. Gillum also served as President of FAMU Student Government Association (2001-2002), and the first student member of FAMU Board of Trustees.

March on Tallahassee[edit]

He was 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.[2] As a result of his advocacy efforts, the national Center for Policy Alternatives (Washington, DC) recognized him as the country's top student leader in 2001.

Arrive with 5[edit]

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 to 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.

Political Career[edit]

Andrew began his time as city commissioner before he had received his degree from FAMU. In 2003, he was elected to a one-year term, and then subsequently reelected to a full term. During the past decade he has spearheaded numerous projects to bring new economic life to Tallahassee. November 2004 garnered him increased prominence in civic leadership responsibilities. Gillum served in the one-year term as Mayor Pro Tem (November 10, 2004 through November 9, 2005). Additionally, the joint body of City and County Commissioners, known as the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency, elected him to serve as their chairperson for a year (January 2005 through December 2005). After ten years as a city commissioner, Andrew has begun his campaign for the office of Mayor of Tallahassee.

Professional Career[edit]

As National Director of the Young Elected Officials Network with People For the American Way Foundation, Gillum spearheads a program that seeks to unite elected officials age 35 and under in a network which supports them with leadership and personal development training and public policy support. Gillum was instrumental in inaugurating this PFAWF project initiative in January 2006. With Gillum at the helm, in May 2006, the program evolved into a national network that links young elected officials across the country and helps identify solutions to the challenges facing our communities and states.

Community Projects[edit]

Andrew Gillum has been responsible for a number of community enrichment projects in his ten years as a city commissioner. From construction of a new teen center to give children a safe and constructive place to go, to revitalizing the whole of Gaines Street (including the brand-new CollegeTown,) parts of Mid-town, Gillum’s track record in Tallahassee is one of community outreach, and fostering economic growth.

Digital Harmony Project[edit]

The Digital Harmony Project won the Significant Achievement award in the Web & E-Government Services category for cities with similar populations from the Public Technology Institute. Digital Harmony was spearheaded by Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew Gillum and is supported by the city, along with local businesses and technology partnerships. For the first two years, it provided every incoming Nims Middle School sixth-grader and new seventh-graders (during the 2008-09 school year) with a new desktop computer, free Internet access and online academic curriculum training on core subjects. The school holds ongoing training courses for parents and students on basic computer skills and school curriculum as well. The brainchild of City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, Digital Harmony will put 200 computers into the homes of Nims Middle School students, with free Internet access. Pearson educational software will be loaded onto each computer as well, which will help tie school curriculum to home learning and activities for other family members, as well. Sixth-graders will be the initial recipients.

Palmer Munroe Teen Center[edit]

Most recently, Gillum was an unrelenting force behind getting the first Teen Center open in August. He pops in, often unannounced, several times a week to see how things are going. He feels an obligation to let the middle- and high school students know he has great expectations for them. "There are too many young people who have never heard that someone has an expectation of them," Gillum said. "It bothers me deeply. Oh man, if I could give a sermon on it, I would." The Teen Center, a former city-run community center on Jackson Bluff Road, is one of his biggest achievements, he said. In many ways, Gillum can relate to the teens, especially the ones who don't have much food in their refrigerators and the ones who know their parents are struggling.

Utility Deposit Refunds for Local Businesses[edit]

Gillum led the City Commission’s efforts to institute a utility deposit rebate policy which put $5.6 million back into Tallahassee’s local economy, reduced the initial security deposit for businesses, and enhanced opportunities for job creation. Andrew continuously seeks to institute mechanisms for greater transparency in operations as well as streamline the development permitting processes to enhance administrative efficiency and cost effectiveness for the private and public sector.

In June of 2010, the City Commission gave the go-ahead to a “fast track” permitting program within the Growth Management Department. The program set performance standards that sped up the pre-construction permitting and planning processes, without relaxing standards on key issues, such as quality and safety. The city commission now guaranteed a seven-day approval process, or the applicants would receive a refund.


Gillum serves on the Board of Directors of the Black Youth Vote Coalition, a program of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (Washington, DC); is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and a member of the Community of Faith Church.

Boards and Committees[edit]

Electoral History[edit]

City Commission of Tallahassee Seat 2, Primary election 2003[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
N/A Andrew D. Gillum 16,119 56.91%
N/A Mayo Woodward 12,206 43.09%
Totals 28,325 100%
City Commission of Tallahassee Seat 2, Primary election, 2004 [4]
Party Candidate Votes %
N/A Andrew D. Gillum 22,040 72.00%
N/A D.J. Johnson 3,903 12.75%
N/A Allen Turnage 4,670 15.25%
Totals 30,613 100%
City Commission of Tallahassee, Seat 2 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
N/A Andrew D. Gillum 0 100%
N/A None 0 0%
Totals 0 100%
City Commission of Tallahassee Seat 2, Primary election, 2012 [5]
Party Candidate Votes %
N/A Jacob S. Eaton 1,769 6.28%
N/A Andrew D. Gillum 20,329 72.20%
N/A Nick Halley 3,321 11.79%
N/A David (Bubba) Riddle 2,738 9.72%
Totals 28,157 100%


External links[edit]