BioCongresswoman Frederica Wilson brings with her to congress more than a decade of service in the Florida State Legislature, as a State Representative (1998-2002) and State Senator (2002-present), Representative Wilson has already represented many of the communities making up Congressional District 17. She has also served the community as a teacher, principal and school board member.
Throughout her career, Congresswoman Wilson has stood up for those without a voice. As a school principal she stood up for her students and their families and fought against an environmentally dangerous composting plant that was built across the street from her school. She won the battle, and the Miami Dade County Commission was forced to close the plant.
She also took a stand when Haitian refugees were incarcerated in a local detention center in 1984. Wilson personally and tirelessly lobbied Congress for the fair treatment of these refugees. And because of her efforts, all of the women held in the detention center were released. Congresswoman Wilson was later named to the Haitian Refugee Center Board of Directors in recognition of her committed service to the Haitian community.
As a member of the Miami-Dade County School Board, Rep. Wilson introduced reading labs and an African-American history curriculum into our schools, as well as a dirty-dancing ban in our community. She also established herself as a leader prepared to tackle the county’s most difficult challenges. It was while she was serving on the School Board that Wilson saw the need for a program to intervene in the lives of at-risk youth before it was too late. Many said the problem was insurmountable, but Congresswoman Wilson knew she could make a difference.
She founded the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Program, which has become a national model for drop-out prevention programs. Its foundation has awarded more than $5 million dollars in scholarships to minority boys since its inception in 1992 and has helped thousands of young boys turn their lives around. It currently operates in 110 Miami-Dade County Schools and helps more than 6000 youth. The Program has received numerous awards including Florida’s Promise to Youth award and the President’s Summit for America’s Future Teaching Example for the Nation award.
A Record of Accomplishment
As a state legislator, Wilson has been a vigilant supporter of quality public education. Her tenure in Tallahassee has been recognized both for her effectiveness and her ability to work across party lines. While others have merely spoken about bipartisanship, Representative Wilson has practiced it. She worked with then-Governor Jeb Bush to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol, to start HIV/AIDS testing in prisons and to reform the implementation of the FCAT. She joined with Governor Charlie Crist to achieve the restoration of voting rights for felons. Wilson’s legislative career has been one of significant accomplishment.
During the 2008 Presidential contest, Congresswoman Wilson was among the first elected officials in Florida to endorse Barack Obama and served as one of the campaign’s surrogate speakers. She was also elected as one of Florida’s 27 electors for the Obama Presidency.
Honors and Awards
The National Medical Association, Scroll of Merit for Public Education Advocacy, 2008
American School Health Association, Legislator of the Year, 2008
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority International, Rosa Parks Coretta Scott King Award, 2008 NAACP Milton Morris Award, 2007
Jessie C. Trice Humanitarian Award, 2007
Liberty City's Community Action Agency, Community Service Award, 2007
Project H.O.P.E., Katrina Humanitarian Award, 2006
CEO Magazine, Legislative Action Recognition, 2006
Carrie P. Meek Education Leadership Achievement Award, 2005
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Emerald Service Award, 2005
The Links, Inc., Links of Gold Award, 2005
NAACP, Florida Chapter, Morris Milton Memorial Award, 2001
American Red Cross, Spectrum Award, 1998
Elected to the Senate in 2002
Re-elected subsequently Minority (Democratic) Lead Whip 2008-2010
Minority (Democratic) Leader Pro Tempore, 2006-2008
Minority (Democratic) Whip, 2002-2006
House of Representatives, 1998-2002
Democratic Whip, 1998-2002
Other Public Service
Cervical Cancer Elimination Task Force, 2004
Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) Board of Directors, 2004
WAND Educational Fund, Board of Directors, 2004
Miami-Dade County School Board, 1992-1998
Government Accountability to the People (GAP) Commission, 1992-1994
Minority Certification Task Force, 1992-1998