Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic Candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum was in Orlando on Tuesday morning, to meet with a coalition of representatives from different cultural groups in the community. The latest in a series of round table talks hosted by the coalition with the candidates for Governor.
The panel included representatives from the Black, Latino, Muslim, and Taíno communities. During his opening remarks Gillum continued his focus on public education in the state and the its importance in the future of Florida’s success. It was also on this issue that he jabbed the current administration on their treatment of the public school system.
“It’s disheartening to hear our state leaders refer to our teachers as ‘evil’ and our institutions of learning in the K-12 system as “failure factories.” said Gillum “Our children are not failures. Our communities are not failures. What has failed us has been the leadership.”
Gillum fielded questions from the panel that included issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement, fair opportunities for the Puerto Rican community, and job creation in the state.
The panel was hosted by the Puerto Rican Leadership Council who will be reaching out to all of the candidates for Governor. Next up will be Democratic Orlando Businessman Chris King. Republican hopeful and Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, has been invited to participate but has not indicated if he’ll accept.
Last week, the group spoke to another one of Gillum’s primary opponents, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham. Gillum did question one of her votes on the environment during her time in Congress with the panel.
“I oppose the Sabal trail pipeline, just as I opposed the Keystone pipeline. That is the difference between myself and my competitor, Congresswoman Graham who did vote for the Keystone pipeline.” said Gillum “We’ve got to make a stronger commitment in this country and globally to expanding renewables.”
Later that morning, Gillum also spoke at the the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Annual Conference also being held here in Orlando.