Kendrick Meek

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Kendrick Meek


Kendrick B. Meek was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 17th district of Florida, and a former candidate for the US Senate. He is the son of former Democratic Congresswoman, Carrie Meek.

Background

Meek's political involvement started early. When his mother, Democratic Socialists of America member Carrie Meek, decided to run for the state Legislature, 12-year-old Kendrick helped out by painting campaign signs at the kitchen table. As a college student, he honed his political leadership skills as the founder and president of the Florida A&M University's Democratic club. The next year, he became statewide president of the College Young Democrats.

He graduated from FAMU in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a reputation as a leader on the football field. He launched his law enforcement career as a Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol, helping keep the public safe on the state's roadways. He later became a captain and was assigned to the security detail traveling with Democratic Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay. After Hurricane Andrew blasted South Florida in 1992, Meek assisted MacKay with the state’s hurricane relief efforts. Kendrick also became an on-the-job student of government, attending meetings with MacKay and former Gov. Lawton Chiles.[1]

Political career

In 1995 Meek resigned from his job and ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, which he won. He served there from 1995 to 1998 and then in the Florida Senate from 1999 to 2002.

While in the Florida House, Kendrick worked with Republicans on a bipartisan measure to provide compensation for two African-Americans, Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee, who had been wrongly convicted of murder 35 years earlier. He also became a strong voice for the opposition under the governor. In 2000 while in the Florida Senate, Kendrick led a 25-hour-long sit-in outside the governor's office to protest the governor's plan to roll back state policies that made sure all Floridians had equal educational and workplace opportunities. The sit-in, along with three town hall meetings attended by state residents, placed sufficient pressure on the governor, he was forced to cancel his executive order in favor of a more-balanced measure passed in the Legislature. “The incident galvanized one of the largest civil-rights marches on the state capital in history" and prompted a massive voter-mobilization effort, The Miami Herald said.

In 2002, Kendrick Meek was elected representative for the 17th Congressional District of Florida, which includes parts of Miami-Dade and Broward County. He was elected to his fourth term in the U.S. House in 2008.[2]

Protesting Jeb Bush

Barbara DeVane-Gilberg, is executive director of We All Count.A veteran labor organizer, she is also a member of the executive board of the Florida National Organization for Women . In Jan. 2000, she joined State Rep. Anthony Hill and State Sen. Kendrick Meek in a 24-hour sit-in in Jeb Bush’s office in Tallahassee to protest his racist “One Florida” repeal of affirmative action.[3]

America's Future Now!

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Kendrick Meek spoke at America's Future Now! 2010.

21st Century Democrats support

21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Democratic Socialists of America affiliates, former Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".

Long time Board chair was Democratic Socialists of America member Jim Scheibel, a former Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.

In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging – those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.[4]

Kendrick Meek was one of 17 key progressives endorsed by 21st Century Democrats in the 2010 election cycle. [5]

Run for Senate

Meek is currently campaigning for Florida U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Mel Martinez. He has received endorsements from the following:[6]

NAACP

Meek is a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.[7]

Staff

The following are past and present staff:[8]

External links

References