Gillum Selects Democrat Party Operative, People for the American Way Alums, to staff Mayor’s Office

Gillum Selects Democrat Party Operative, People for the American Way Alums, to staff Mayor’s Office

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.

11 Responses to "Gillum Selects Democrat Party Operative, People for the American Way Alums, to staff Mayor’s Office"

  1. Certainly you are not suggesting that elected folks are doing anything wrong by employing staff they know and trust. You may disagree with the agenda of People for the American Way, but you certainly can’t be making an issue out of what it a common practice by Democrats, Republicans and all officials everywhere.

  2. Looking through their linkedins and facebooks, they seem to be qualified. Daniels studied at the London School of Economics. Whats the problem? Are we arguing for unqualified people to fill these positions?

    1. Pretty sure it is not about his qualifications but more about Kid Andy doing what is best for his employer and not the citizens of this community.

  3. If they do smoke, I have little doubt that they can get free cigarettes from Sean Pittman who has lobbied on behalf of big tobacco.

  4. So it begins…..get ready for a wild ride. And no one…other then Tallahassee Reports…will work to expose the truth. But folks will just turn a blind eye just like they did with Marks. Even more reason to look to move.

  5. It would be interesting to know what the Foundation purports to do and who some of the principles in the organization are.

    If you have, or could get, such information it would be helpful.

    1. You can go to their website Their goal is to get big money out of politics and return power to people. They are also supportive of civil rights and criminal justice reform. I suppose to some on this site that makes them far left but I would disagree.

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