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Chris King: The progressive entrepreneur running for the Governor of Florida

By Tony Brown | Staff Reporter
On March 8, 2018

 

Chris King, a 39-year-old former lawyer, Winter Park native and business man, is on a quest to govern Florida.

King, a third-generation Floridian, Harvard University and University of Florida graduate, and founder of Elevation Financial Group, is laying the foundation to  compete for the Governor of Florida. Unlike other candidates, he has no experience in government or campaigns but looks to succeed by promoting an accountable government.

Since 2006, King’s been providing affordable housing for working families and senior citizens in Florida, " I didn't have any money, didn't [have] any track record but I had an interest in entrepreneurship and felt like there was a real unmet need in the state of Florida and it took off and worked."

Over the course of 10 years, King has provided housing to an estimate of 35,000 residents in the southeastern region of the United States.  

King has also been heavily evolved in civic work around the world. King helped launch the Elevation Academy, a school in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo that serves 700 low-income students. In addition to that, he has done a lot of work in Haiti over the past 5 years serving to people's needs, providing opportunities, and promoting education.  

As a man of faith, some of King's largest supporters are within the African American church which has been a part of his work in Haiti and Africa.

"Yesterday I was just with 20-25 pastors in study talking about the campaign, and a number of them actually went to FAMU, and believe very strongly that me being their candidate as the next governor has a real responsibility to not only provide more access and investment but to be somebody who is a frequent guest at those locations," said King.  

March 4th, 2017, King launched his campaign and since then, have been to 35 counties, spoken over 100 times, and has been called by many in the Democratic Party as a progressive entrepreneur. Running in the progressive lane caring for social justice, equality, caring for the neediest amongst us, King has a business background and is able to put forward an economic mission for the state that lifts up wages and families; creating a more affordable Florida for everyone and not just the rich - setting him apart from all the other candidates.   

King is the youngest of all the candidates who is running for Governor. If elected, he wants to be viewed as a progressive entrepreneur and as a governor that will encourage a fair economy for all Floridians. King is an advocate for raising the minimum wage and creating jobs that can actually support families by providing well-paying jobs through small businesses.

To shift Florida's focus on higher education for students of all ages, King looks to give everyone an opportunity to receive a good education. In 2013, he started the Elevation Scholarship Program which is a partnership with University of Central Florida and Orange County Public Schools around the Orlando area.

"I have a whole team within our organization that work with lots of public schools, particularity lower income schools that serve communities of color, and first-generation college students. The goal is to send students to college whether its Flagship colleges, HBCU's, to private selective colleges across the country," said King.

His efforts demonstrate an understanding that opportunity should be presented to everyone.   

One of King's pitches is to fund homegrown businesses and entrepreneurs with small grants, which would create job training institutes at community colleges. A concern of King is the access and quality issues colleges are having in Florida. His hope is to be a real public education champion governor that will be able to invest more funds into Florida State colleges and Historical Black Colleges and Universities.

King believe that lifting the wages will create the workforce of the future.

Lastly, King expressed his thoughts on what the importance for the next Governor of Florida to stand up to President Trump. Like many other candidates, he has been an advocate for gun safety and gun violence. King stated that he has been speaking about the banning of all war weapons ever since his first speech to run for governor, "If elected I will be a governor who does that," said King. The same day Trump made racist remarks against Haitians, King later gave a speech the same day responding to Trump forcefully and using Trump as an example of why elections such as the one he is in matter.

 

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