Sybrina Fulton, who is the mother of Trayvon Martin, is running for political office in Florida. Fulton, whose son was killed in a police shooting in 2012, will be running for a seat on the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners in 2020.
“My time as a public servant began 30 years ago at Miami-Dade County. Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said in an Instagram post over the weekend. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”
According to WSVN Miami, Fulton will be challenging Miami-Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III for District 1. The seat is currently held by Commissioner Barbara Jordan, but will be vacated after 2020.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Fulton Became an Activist to Help Bring an End to Gun Violence After Her Son’s Fatal Shooting
- Since the tragic death of Trayvon Martin on February 17th, 2012, Fulton, along with Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, garnered national attention. Fulton has used the seven years since her son’s shooting to help bring an end to gun violence.
“Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs,” she said in a statement, per the Miami Herald. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”
Fulton released a campaign launch video Monday. The video highlights several key issues, including Fulton’s reluctance to hop into the public spotlight after her son’s death.
“At first I didn’t want to be the voice for Trayvon after he died, but I decided, I have no choice. Now I am called to act and called to serve,” Fulton said at the beginning of the video.
2. Public Safety, Affordable Housing, Gun Violence and the Cost of Living are Fulton’s Key Issues
In her campaign launch video, Fulton highlights all four of these issues, as well as her experience within county government.
“I’ve worked my way up in county government for 24 years,” Fulton said. “For our future, we need new positive action on public safety and gun violence, on affordable housing and the cost of living.”
The video, which was posted to Sybrina Fulton’s Instagram page has amassed nearly 3,500 views as of early Monday afternoon.
She finished the video by acknowledging the spotlight her son has put on her.
“Until recently I didn’t see myself as someone who would run, but if not me then who? I not now then when? Some only know as Trayvon Martin’s mom. Hi, my name is Sybrina Fulton and I am running for Miami-Dade County Commissioner,” Fulton said at the end of the video.
3. Fulton Campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016
At a 2016 event in Columbia, South Carolina, Fulton sat next to Hillary Clinton and publicly endorsed, thanked and encouraged others to support the then presidential candidate.
“Secretary Clinton supported us, and we have to stand and support her,” Fulton said in front of a group of mothers on NBC News.
Fulton shared about the first time she met Clinton in front of the South Carolina gathering, something she mentioned reluctantly because she said, “it’s gonna make me tear up.”
“When we met with her, she walked in as a secretary, she walked in as a political figure, she walked in as a presidential candidate,” Fulton said. “But she walked out as a compassionate mother, as a compassionate grandmother, as a compassionate wife.”
Fulton said Clinton was the only candidate to listen to the room full of women who lost someone they loved due to gun violence.
“Where no other candidate would listen to us, Ms. Clinton did,” Fulton said.
4. Both Fulton and Tracy Martin Released a Book in 2017 Exploring Their Son’s Death
The parents of Trayvon Martin released a book in 2017, titled “Rest in Power.” According to CBS News, the book switches narration between Fulton and Martin as they describe the life and death of their son.
Trayvon Martin, unarmed at the time, was gunned down by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder following an intense and controversial trial.
At the time of the book release, both Martin and Fulton were happy their son’s death was able to spark a national conversation on race relations, but according to the USA Today, feared President Trump would reverse the progress that was made.
Fulton and Martin divorced in 1999, but per the Miami Herald are still close especially after their son’s death.
5. Fulton is not Anti-Gun
While she was campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2016, Fulton came out and said she and Martin are not anti-gun, per to the Miami Herald.
“We need to get to a place where people who own guns are responsible gun owners,” she says. “It’s not about being for or against guns. It’s about everybody being responsible.”
The two hope more restrictions can be put on gun ownership. They advocate stricter background checks and closing the loopholes surrounding gun shows and online gun purchases.