It was politics as usual for The Breakfast Club this morning (Jan. 30). Today’s guest was Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida. Raised in South Miami Dade, the 38-year old politician is currently in the race for governor of Florida. “When people contribute to me, what you are buying into is our vision. What you are buying into is our plan to improve our community, our city, our state,” he told Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy. “What you are not buying is my vote. That’s not how the democratic process works.” Marijuana legalization, gun laws and his biggest challenges while running for office were also covered during the interview.
On legalizing marijuana: “We’ve seen the damage that over-criminalization has done, particularly as it relates to marijuana use, marijuana sale. Obviously, the law of the land is what it is and we have to enforce the law as it exists. However, I think cities all across the country should be looking at ways to decriminalize it.”
On the biggest challenge he faces as a politician: “I will tell you right now that the difficult challenge that I have is the fact that I’m running to be the governor of the third largest state in America and I’m the only non-millionaire in the race.
“Money plays a huge role in politics. And you often find elected officials who then do the bidding of those who are financing them, and not necessarily the bidding of the people.”
On the NRA’s influence on gun laws: “The first thing you hear out of a lot of politicians’ mouths is ‘it’s untimely. We can’t talk about it.’ In my city, we had an ordinance that said you cannot shoot guns in city parks. You can’t shoot guns in parks where our kids play and our families picnic, and that was so radical a notion that the NRA and their friends in the gun lobby decided to take me to court, because Florida law allows it.
“It’s unbelievable to me that we can have that kind of violence - everyday violence in our streets and communities, mass shootings that we just saw the other day, the incidents of Sandy Hook, what we saw in Las Vegas, what gets carried on all over this country - and that the 5 million-member NRA has the ability to squelch any meaningful reform.”
Andrew Gillum’s full conversation with The Breakfast Club is available above.