Mothers who lost children to gun violence or incidents involving police — including the mother of Trayvon Martin — will go on the road in Florida beginning this weekend to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
The women, who call themselves the “Mothers of the Movement,” will take part in a four-day tour of North and South Florida to try to rally black voters to Clinton, especially around issues of jobs, education and criminal justice. They will kick off their travels Saturday in Jacksonville and plan to be in South Florida on Monday.
The last time the mothers came together for Clinton was during the Democratic National Convention in July. This will be their first campaign trip since, coming days after deadly police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte. Clinton made note of incidents in Orlando this week.
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In Jacksonville, three mothers — Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton — will visit historically black Edward Waters College for a panel discussion Saturday titled “Fish, Grits, and Politics.” They plan church visits Sunday, along with a voter-registration event.
In South Florida, four mothers — Carr; Hamilton; Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon — will stop in Riviera Beach and Broward County, where they’ll attend a watch party for Monday night's presidential debate. They will drop in on historically black Florida Memorial University for a panel discussion Monday, and then attend a forum in Miami Gardens.
Clinton’s campaign has focused on drawing out black Florida supporters over the past few weeks, releasing a series of radio ads targeting African Americans and Haitian Americans. One of them features First Lady Michelle Obama, who gave one of the best-received speeches of the July convention. President Barack Obama himself called into a Miami R&B station last week to urge his supporters to back Clinton in as high numbers as they did him.
Recent polls show Clinton virtually tied with Donald Trump in Florida, a state that could swing the entire election. Trump visited Miami last week to meet with Haitian Americans, many of whom remain wary of Clinton given her and her husband’s past political involvement in Haiti. Trump also tried, for the first time, to appeal explicitly to the South Florida black community as a whole, saying Democrats haven’t done enough to earn their support.