In the midst of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s campaign for governor of Florida, he did not hesitate last week to stop by New York City and speak with The Breakfast Club at Power 105.1 FM. During Gillum’s interview, he pinpointed local Florida issues, his thoughts on politics, and personal aspects of his life.
This New York based syndicated show, powered by iHeartRadio, is hosted by Angela Yee, Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy, with minorities and millennials being the majority audiences. With interview footage from major activists, celebrities and politicians, this show has also become a YouTube sensation, with over 1.6 million subscribers.
“I have an experience. I have a lived experience that I need to reflect,” Gillum, a former Florida A&M student body president, said. Gillum shared his story about being raised around crime and poverty in South Florida, and being the first child out of seven to graduate from high school and college. If elected governor, Gillum will make history as becoming Florida’s first Black governor.
“The difficult challenge that I have is the fact that I’m running to be the governor of the third largest state in America, and I’m the only non-millionaire in the race. Money plays a huge role in politics,” Gillum said after he was asked about the difficulties of politics.
Gillum also emphasized the importance of gaining support from young voters. He stated how Americans have now faced the “consequences” of not voting during elections, referring to Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 presidential election. “Our votes are our voices,” he said.
During the interview it was also pointed out that Gillum’s campaign focuses on children and Florida’s education system. Gillum said that Florida currently has a governor that refers to schools as “failure factories” and to teachers as “evil” people. “In my opinion, it’s imperative that we have a governor who understands that lived experience of people in our state, and are prepared to do something to shift up the game. If you’re not on a college-bound track, you should be able to get a skill that leads up to a job, that then leads to a career that pays a good wage.”
It is a message that resonates with many.
“The public school system does need change. I really appreciate him for acknowledging that. Education is key, whether it be college or trade school,” fourth-year FAMU political science student Abani Rollins said. “My early education took place in North Miami. My mother is still an educator in Miami-Dade County. Therefore, I have felt, seen, and heard first-hand the changes needed in our school system- particularly in predominantly Black neighborhoods.”
Transfer psychology student Kalexia Miller agreed. “When I heard that our Mayor was on The Breakfast Club, it kind of surprised me. But I’m glad he got that exposure, especially because that show reaches out to young people and minorities.”
On YouTube, many positive comments were left on the channel about the interview, including some coming from current and former FAMU students.