Sybrina Fulton, who has become an activist for ending gun violence and advancing social justice following the killing of her teenaged son, Trayvon Martin, is running for office in Florida, The Miami Herald reports. Fulton is pursuing a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission. Among other candidates, Fulton will be running against Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert for one of five vacancies opening up due to two-term limits for the 13 member board. Gilbert is predicted to have an edge in the race as major of Miami Gardens, which happens to be the largest city in the district.
Although Fulton released a statement indicating her intent to run, she is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday.
“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 the statement. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”
This won’t be her first foray into politics, after campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Aside from that, Fulton has been a vocal activist and advocate since her son’s death. She has made numerous national television appearances, co-wrote a book, and established the Trayvon Martin Foundation, a non-profit organization named in her son’s honor and run from Miami Gardens. The foundation, according to its website, has since launched initiatives to “empower families and communities through violence prevention, mental health access and awareness, and educating the community’s children.”
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager fatally shot by then-neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, tells the Miami Herald she's running for office in Floridahttps://t.co/ydyS5tNFoM— Axios (@axios) May 19, 2019
Fulton initially found herself in the national spotlight when Martin, who was 17, was shot to death in 2012. The shooter was 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who killed the unarmed teenager after a confrontation on the streets of a Sanford neighborhood after Martin was visiting with his father following his suspension from Michael Krop High School.
Martin’s death sparked national outrage and drew substantial attention to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, on the basis of which Zimmerman was acquitted. Protests and vigils took place both following Martin’s death as well as upon the announcement of Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Fulton in the past has indicated that her work is not specifically anti-gun, but that she aims simply to promote sensible gun-control measures that would tighten background checks and restrict private gun sales.
Zimmerman has also found himself advancing an advocacy roll of sorts since killing Martin, becoming something of a minor celebrity in certain pro-gun circles and making appearances at gun shows and similar events.