Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Mother, Qualifies to Run for Public Office

Illustration for article titled Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Mother, Qualifies to Run for Public Office
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Sybrina Fulton announced that she’s officially qualified to appear on the ballot for Miami Dade County Commissioner, running on a platform that focuses on equity across transportation, housing and economic opportunity.


Fulton first announced her intention to run last year. Since then, she’s notched several high profile endorsements, including Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Hillary Clinton, who in May participated in a virtual fundraiser moderated by Ruth’s List Florida.

Fulton, whose son Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman, has spent the last several years traveling the U.S. to speak out against racial profiling and gun violence. Regarding the outrage exhibited across the country over the systemic violence toward black Americans, Fulton told the Guardian on Monday, “I think people have had enough,” adding that the current protests have been more diverse than those in the past:

“I see people of all colors that are there, and that are standing with African Americans,” Fulton said. “They really saw what happened. They’re compassionate, and they feel the pain that we have been feeling for so many years.”

Fulton does, however, think that focus should be on reforming police departments, rather than defunding them:

“I don’t agree with that,” Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, said of the “defund the police” slogan. “I think we need more police. We need police with better standards, and police with better ethics and better work habits.”

Fulton is running for county commissioner in Florida. “I want residents to feel safe,” she said. “I want to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community.”


Fulton is up against Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III for the District 1 seat. While she trails behind Gilbert in fundraising, she wouldn’t be the first mother who lost a child to gun violence to win a campaign: Lucy McBath, whose son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in 2012, was elected to Congress in 2018.



This seems newsworthy, but I’m surprised at the lack of coverage here of the much bigger story in Miami re- social justice advocates looking to unseat entrenched power: the race for State’s Attorney between Melba Pearson (former deputy director of the Miami ACLU) against Katherine Fernández Rundle, who has been Miami-Dade State Attorney for like 27 years. At least where criminal justice reform in South Florida is concerned, the possibility of the ‘top cop’ position changing from KFR to a lifelong civil liberties minded attorney is potentially huge. And as news stories go, I think it’s probably the better story—Pearson is also black (so it’s still a perfectly intersectional story), and it touchesvery heavily on policing/law enforcement, which is particularly topical right now. Mind you, I can point at a number of things KFR has done that I can mostly get behind, but she’s been in the job since 1993 (and served as deputy SA for 15 years before that). And what’s even more wild, is that the scuttlebutt seems to be that Pearson could actually win this thing.