WASHINGTON, D.C.—People For the American Way President Michael Keegan announced that Andrew Gillum will be joining the PFAW team as a senior fellow.
“I couldn’t be happier to welcome Andrew back to the People For the American Way family,” Keegan said. “After years of working with Andrew, I know him to be one of the most visionary leaders who is deeply committed to making the kind of change that has a real impact on people’s lives. His campaign in Florida made clear to everyone what we already knew: he’s one of the most dynamic and inspiring leaders in the progressive movement and in the country at large. We can’t wait to continue working with him to continue to push for a country that lives up to its promise.”
Gillum worked at PFAW and the affiliated People For the American Way Foundation for years early in his career, working his way up to Director of Youth Leadership Programs. In that role, he founded the Young Elected Officials Network, a program which grew to include more than 1,300 progressive elected officials serving at every level of government.
In his new role, Gillum will advise on PFAW’s democracy reform work in Florida, engage in advocacy on PFAW’s key issue areas, and serve as a national spokesperson for PFAW. He will also work with PFAW’s Next Up Victory Fund that helps elect progressive candidates.
“I’m very pleased to be coming home to People For the American Way, which has been an important part of my career and my life story,” Gillum said. “I can’t think of a more effective, more exciting organization to be a part of. And I can’t think of a better team to join as we continue to fight for the core values that actually make America great: fairness, justice, equality, and democracy. PFAW has been a champion of those values for more than 35 years, and there’s never been a more critical time to be in this fight.”
Speaking about his new role in an interview with The Nation’s John Nichols, Gillum put a special emphasis on PFAW’s role in raising fair courts as an election issue. Nichols writes:
“Gillum’s return to PFAW—a group with which he first aligned almost two decades ago as a young organizer—will see him using his skills to challenge voter suppression, mobilize voter turnout in Florida and other states through work with the Latinos Vote! project, and (as a former mayor of Tallahassee and founder of the Young Elected Officials Network) encourage a new generation of progressive contenders to seek local and state posts. He’ll also be highlighting the influence of big money on our politics and threat posed by right-wing extremism. It’s a broad brief, but Gillum sees plenty of connections, and plenty of ways in which the issues will be influenced by the courts.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.