Andrew Gillum addresses Florida Democrats before his big moment at the DNC


Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention Wednesday (time uncertain), and he showed his much-touted speaking skills while addressing the Florida Democratic Delegation breakfast, just hours before his appearance.

“If you blink you’ll miss it,” Gillum joked about the length of his scheduled address (which reportedly will call for healing between the black community and law enforcement, according to the Tallahassee Democrat), he focused his 10-minute-plus speech on the DNC’s narrative being pushed from the Clinton camp on down of being “stronger, together.”

That included teachers who encouraged him to take honors classes and aspire to attend college.

“We can take the power of affirming and reminding people that right where they are is everything that they need to get to where they’re trying to go, and I think that’s the story of the Democratic Party,” he said.

And Gillum instructed the delegates that the parties and the breakfasts and networking that happen at a political convention are wonderful, it doesn’t matter much to the people they purport to represent back home. And, he said, the Democrats’ message is not one of dependence, but of giving a helping hand.

“If the people out on the street don’t know why it’s import to vote for Democrats, if people out in the street don’t realize how hard we’re working for them … not to enable them, but just to lift the ladder down a little bit lower so everybody can jump on. Right? That’s our job. We’ve got to communicate when we get home. Stronger together means I can’t do it by myself.”

Gillum dissed Adam Putnam for saying people had a choice to vote for Donald Trump in November.

“I actually had a higher level of respect for him prior to that,” Gillum said. “Because I see other Republicans say country first. Because under no unbiased metrics is Donald Trump ready to be president of the United States.”

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]


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