Current City Commissioner and Mayoral candidate Andrew Gillum is refusing to answer questions about his employer, the People for the American Way, and how their policy positions could effect Tallahassee if he becomes Mayor.
In fact, Gillum threatened legal action against Tallahassee Reports for writing that he is employed by the People for the American Way even though his financial disclosure form clearly states he works for the People for the American Way.
Gillum’s email read:
“This is an incorrect story and if do not print a retraction I will involve a lawyer in your libelous and slanderous claims!…I work for People For the American Way FOUNDATION, a 501C3 nonprofit that cannot legally participate in partisan politics. “
The email was in response to a story published by Tallahassee Reports investigating the connection between the People for the American Way, Gillum, and a blog called Right Wing Watch. That report is here.
The People for the American Way website (www.pfaw.org) list Gillum as the Director of Youth Leadership Programs. These programs include Young People For, Young Elected Officials Network, and the Young Professionals Activist network.
The mission of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, which Gillum is in charge of, is to unite and support progressive elected leaders who share a passion for building communities that reflect values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all.
The organization claims to be non-partisan but the policy positions advocated on their website seems to be inconsistent with that claim. Listed below is content from the “target issue” section of their website:
“Conservative lawmakers all over the country have taken aim at the rights of workers and families, and at the services and benefits on which many Americans depend.”
“Progressives also face continued attacks on reproductive health and rights by conservative state lawmakers.“
“The Obama administration has voiced its support for raising the minimum wage and emphasized the importance of balancing deficit reduction with progressive and fair reforms that promote growth. The Defending Workers and Families Council will continue to build on this momentum and work to protect and improve the lives of all American families.”
Specific policy positions listed under the “policy exchange” section of their website for local governments are consistent with the “progressive” approach to the YEO’s mission.
For example, at the local level, the group advocates for the regulation of pregnancy help centers through an ordinance adopted in San Francisco, a living wage ordinance adopted in Sonoma, California, and resolutions that encourage the disinvestment of City funds from banks that do not promote mortgage modifications.
Also the group supports an initiative stating that each school should also be a community learning center in which a variety of partners shall offer academic programs, enrichment activities, and support to students, families, and community members before and after school as well as during the evenings and on weekends throughout the calendar year.
Tallahassee Reports submitted questions to Commissioner Gillum over five days ago seeking to understand how the positions he is paid to advocate for could effect Tallahassee if he was elected Mayor.
He has yet to respond to our questions.