Sybrina Fulton is an African-American mother who became a social justice activist after the 2012 fatal shooting of her son, Trayvon Martin. She is now running for political office in Florida.
Fulton formally announced her candidacy on Monday for a seat for the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.
“At first, I didn’t want to be the voice for Trayvon after he died but I decided I have no choice. Now, I’m called to act, and called to serve,” Fulton, an activist against gun violence, said in a roughly two-minute video posted on her Instagram account. “It became clear to me there’s an opportunity to turn our family’s tragedy into something positive for many other families.”
“It took my son being shot down in order for me to stand up. But I’m standing now,” she said in the video that featured images of her slain son.
On Sunday, Fulton posted on Instagram w that her time as a public servant in the county began three decades ago, and she referenced her activism since over the past seven years. “Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said in the Instagram post. “But the work is not done.”
The commission seat Fulton is seeking will be vacant in 2020 after term limits prevent current District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan from running again. Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III is also running to fill the seat, CNN affiliate WSVN reported.
“This is where she lives, this is where she grew up, this is where her family lives. All politics is local,” said Willis Howard (Fulton’s campaign manger) “It’s the type of leadership I think this area has been asking for.”
Her decision to run was solidified several weeks ago after she gave a speech to the National Action Network about getting involved in communities through advocacy, marching, and sometimes seeking public office to find change, according to Howard.
Fulton, who graduated from Florida Memorial University, has worked for Miami-Dade County in various areas, including housing.
Howard said she would focus on issues such as economic development, attaining more workforce housing and affordable housing, and curbing gun violence.
Fulton also wants to be involved in the Miami-Dade Police Department’s transition to a sheriff’s office to help write legislation “on how that sheriff’s department looks, how it acts and how it treats its citizens.”