Andrew Gillum

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Andrew Gillum
Personal details
Born (1979-07-26) July 26, 1979 (age 35)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jai Gillum
Alma mater Florida Agricultural and
Mechanical University
Religion Christianity
Website Official website

Andrew D. Gillum (born July 26, 1979 in Miami) is the Mayor and a former 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. Gillum and wife, R. Jai have two children, Jackson and Caroline Gillum born in 2014.[citation needed]

College Life[edit]

Gillum served as President of the FAMU Student Government Association from 2001-2002, and was the first student member of FAMU Board of Trustees. He was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation as "Emerging Leader for 2003". Gillum was also a Board member of the Black Youth Vote Coalition, a program of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation in Washington, D.C.. Gillum was elected to the Tallahassee City Commission prior to the completion his college career.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

City of Tallahassee Commissioner[edit]

In 2003, Gillum was elected to a one-year term as city commissioner, and then subsequently reelected to a full term. He is the youngest person (age 23) to ever be elected to the Tallahassee City Commission. During the past decade he has spearheaded numerous projects to bring new economic life to Tallahassee. Gillum served a one-year term as Mayor Pro Tem from 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). Gillum has also served as lead commissioner for the Long Range Community Based Target Issue Committee. After ten years as a city commissioner, Gillum begun his campaign for the office of Mayor of Tallahassee in 2013.[citation needed]

City of Tallahassee Projects[edit]

Andrew Gillum is responsible for a number of community enrichment projects during his eleven 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,) and parts of Midtown, Gillum’s track record in Tallahassee is one of community outreach, and fostering economic growth.[citation needed]

The Digital Harmony Project is an initiative championed by Gillum with support from the City of Tallahassee, local businesses and technology partnerships. Digital Harmony won the Significant Achievement Award in the Web & e-Government Services category from the Public Technology Institute. For the first two years, it provided every incoming Nims Middle School sixth and seventh-grader 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. This effort places 200 computers into the homes of Nims Middle School students.(

Gillum spearheaded the opening of first Tallahassee Teen Center. The Palmer Munroe Center on Jackson Bluff Road serves as a safe haven for many area youth.

In government, Andrew led the City Commission’s efforts to institute a policy which returned $5.6 million back to 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 public private partnerships.

He also voted with his colleagues on the city commission to approve a “fast track” permitting program within the Growth Management Department. The program set a performance standard which expedites the pre-construction permitting and planning processes without relaxing key quality and safety standards. The city commission now guarantees a seven-day approval process.

Most recently, Gillum led the city’s development project Cascades Park, located in the heart of downtown Tallahassee. The park, built in 2013 doubles as a stormwater management facility, protecting local neighborhoods from flooding.

Mayor of Tallahassee[edit]

Gillum was voted Mayor-elect on August 24, 2014 after a win with 76 percent of votes against opponents Zack Richardson and Larry Hendricks and took his oath as Mayor of Tallahassee on November 21, 2014. Upon his election, Gillum propsed a number of initiatives as Mayor of Tallahassee, within each is a myriad of programs and initiatives he believes would best serve the Tallahassee community.


  • Family First Agenda

Through these initiatives, Gillum plans to build on the great work of the child-focused organizations in the Tallahassee community, to more boldly drive change and move our City toward a more nurturing and dynamic place for children and families to grow strong.

  • The Opportunity Agenda

Tallahassee has taken the initiative to bring partners from all sectors of the community to work identify the most issue-ridden areas of the City, and put together a long-term plan for inducing some large scale impact. Addressing the major social issues that plague the community, such as crime, poverty, poor health and beyond is going to take a more comprehensive and targeted approach than has been done in Tallahassee.

  • Talent Lives Here (TLH)

Gillum's goals for capitalizing on the opportunities that Tallahassee has to positively impact our community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and build a new economy.

  • Promoting a Culturally Vibrant Community

Gillum believes that investments in the social and cultural amenities of Tallahassee is vitally important for attracting young talent, recruiting new businesses, and also enriching the life of those that already call Tallahassee home.

  • Tallahassee Mayoral Fellowship Program

Gillum understands that it’s essential to invest first hand in young aspiring public leaders. The Tallahassee Mayoral Fellowship Program offers a yearlong opportunity for exceptionally high performing graduate students to meaningfully engage with key areas of City government, and serve in invaluable front-line positions alongside top leaders of City Hall.

Professional career[edit]

As former National Director of the Young Elected Officials Network with People For the American Way Foundation, Gillum spearheaded 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. 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. Gillum also served as Field Organizer and statewide Director of the "Arrive With 5" program with People For the American Way Foundation. He organized the largest "Arrive With 5" get-out-the-vote campaign in Florida's history. He also worked as Deputy Political Director with the Florida Democratic Party. He currently serves as Director of Youth Leadership Programs with People For the American Way Foundation.


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[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
N/A Andrew D. Gillum 16,119 56.91
N/A Mayo Woodward 12,206 43.09
Total votes 28,325 100
City Commission of Tallahassee Seat 2, Primary election, 2004 [3]
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
Total votes 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
Total votes 0 100
City Commission of Tallahassee Seat 2, Primary election, 2012 [4]
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
Total votes 28,157 100


External links[edit]