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Posted on April 13, 2015
When Andrew Gillum ran for Mayor, one of his least favorite subjects to talk about was where he worked, the People for American Way Foundation. Gillum has been employed by the progressive group for a number of years and public records indicate his yearly salary is approximately $130,000.
Tallahassee Reports has learned through public records that Mayor Gillum has selected two individuals to fill positions in the Mayor’s Office who have worked for the People for American Way and the People for the American Way Foundation.
Also, records show that Mayor Gillum hired a Community Relations Coordinator who has only lived in Tallahassee since July, 2014 and lists his only employment in Tallahassee as being with the Florida Democratic Party.
As Mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum has the budget and authority to fill three positions that form the Mayors staff.
After his election, Gillum hired Dustin Daniels as his Chief of Staff, Angela Whitaker, his long time assistant at City Hall, as the Internal Affairs Coordinator, and Jamerson Van Pelt as a Community Relations Coordinator.
Dustin Daniels, who is paid approximately $74,000 a year as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, was employed by the People for the American Way (PFAW) from July 2011 to September 2012.
Part of his job description at PFAW reads “Oversaw all public policy, research, exchange and support for a network of over 700 young elected leaders serving at the school board, local, municipal, state and congressional levels of government, around the United States. Coordinated the complete restructuring and overhaul of the Network’s policy work, and spearheaded the advancement of policy interventions in areas such as education reform, economic justice and development, social equality, and franchise expansion.”
Dustin Daniels accompanied the Mayor and others to Pittsburgh late last year for a People for the American Way event. Read about the Pittsburgh trip here.
More bio information on Daniels can be found here.
Jamerson Van Pelt, the Mayor’s Community Relations Coordinator, was most recently employed by the Florida Democrat Party as a Communications Assistant beginning July 1, 2014. There is no end date listed on the application. The description of work performed states “effectively developed a policy book for the candidate to use through the campaign.”
Who was the candidate?
The application does not provide that information, however, a quick search indicates that Mr. Van Pelt worked for the Gwen Graham campaign for US Congress.
Mr. Van Pelt appears to have only lived in Tallahassee since July 1, 2014.
Mayor Gillum also created a Mayoral Fellowship Program when he was elected. The City of Tallahassee website lists three Fellows selected by the Mayor. One of the Fellows is Sakeena Kenton who lists the People for the American Way Foundation as a former employer.
Research indicates that Ms. Kenton worked for the PFAW Foundation in Washington D.C. and also worked as an intern for Congressman Alcee Hastings.