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Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)

U.S. Representative (since January 2011)

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Why She Matters

Three times Wilson has been elected to succeed Kendrick Meek — once in 1998 when Meek left the state House and again in 2002 when he left the state Senate. Once Meek left the U.S. House to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2010, Wilson ran to replace him yet again. After her convincing victory in a crowded Democratic primary in Florida's heavily-Democratic 17th district, she won the general election with 86 percent of the vote. At 68, she became the oldest member of the 2010 freshman class.

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Photo

Photos

Frederica Wilson's many hats

(Phil Coale / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Rep.-elect Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) owns hundreds of fabulous hats.

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Video

Lawmakers want answers in Trayvon Martin case (3:01)

Rep. Frederica Wilson, (D-Fla.) took to the House floor on Wednesday to call for justice for Trayvon Martin. The teen was killed 25 days ago. The shooter, George Zimmerman has not been charged or arrested.

Topic

Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)

U.S. Representative (since January 2011)

Column

Oh, snap! The GOP misfires on food stamps.

(Tom Toles)

In trying to appeal to conservatives, Republicans are alienating the electorate.

Barney Frank: What’s the House floor dress code, anyway?

On Monday the congressman flouted the House’s strict sartorial standards, which demand a coat and tie, by wearing a schlubby-looking t-shirt that showed a lot.

Bobby Rush: A hoodie in the House? Someday, it might be all good.

Rep. Bobby Rush’s headline-making hoodie might someday be no biggie.

President Obama’s return to the CBC is sweeter than last

And what is it about the Congressional Black Caucus gala and footwear?

 
 

At a Glance

  • Career History: Florida state Senator (2003-2010), Florida state Representative (1998-2002), Miami-Dade County School Board member (1992-1998), principal of Skywell Elementary School (1980-1992)
  • Birthday: November 5, 1942
  • Hometown: Miami, Florida
  • Alma Mater: B.S. from Fisk University (1963); M.A. from University of Miami (1972); DHL from Florida Memorial College (1998)
  • Religion: Episcopal
 

Path To Power

Raised in Miami, Wilson graduated from Fisk University in 1963 and started working as an elementary-school teacher. In 1980, she became principal of Skyway Elementary School, located in Miami Gardens.

Wilson was credited with substantially improving the school during the 12 years she worked there; in 1992, she was nominated for the state's Principal of the Year award. She focused on making college an objective and emphasized bilingualism, for instance talking to students in Spanish upon entering a classroom.

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The Issues

Wilson describes herself as a "liberal progressive" and emphasizes that her political priority is minorities and low-income people. "Everything I've ever done has been for poor people," she said in 2002.

In 2007, she introduced a bill that would have banned usage of the term "illegal alien" from official documents. "I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals," she said.

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The Network

The AFL-CIO and Planned Parenthood endorsed Wilson in her 2010 House bid.

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Additional Resources

  1. Farrell, John Mailander, "Schools' Wilson to run for House," The Miami Herald, January 23, 1998
  2. Mazzei, Patricia, "Frederica Wilson takes on politician haters," Miami Herald, August 12, 2010
  3. Project Vote Smart, Senator Wilson on HB 503
  4. Moore, Kimberly, "Bill pushes FCAT stand-in," Florida Today, March 19, 2004
  5. Benjamin, Jody, "Dade Oks curriculum on black studies," Sun-Sentinel, November 6, 1997
  6. Harris, Renee, "Wilson sets sights on Washington," South Florida Times ,March 20, 2009
  7. Acle, Ana, "Frederica Wilson Skyway principal's philosophy - reach out and hug someone," The Miami Herald, January 26, 1992
  8. Project Vote Smart, Senator Wilson on SB 2400
  9. Munzenreider, Kyle, Miami New-Times Blogs, Oct. 15, 2010
  10. Hollyfield, Amy, "Class-size amendment battle is brewing," St. Petersburg Times, March 24, 2009
  11. Allen, Mike, Politico's Playbook, Jan. 14, 2010
  12. Poltilove, Josh, "Senator Takes Aim At Guns That Look Real But Aren't," Tampa Tribune, February 28, 2006
  13. Mazzei, Patricia, "Frederica Wilson takes on politician haters," Miami Herald, August 12
  14. Vote Smart, Senator Wilson on SB 6
  15. "Boycott loses steam?," Miami Times, July 23, 2003
  16. Farrell, John Mailander, "Schools' Wilson to run for House," The Miami Herald, January 23, 1998
  17. Roig-Franzia, Manuel, "No Easy Fix for Florida's Troubled Child Welfare System," The Washington Post, August 15, 2002 and White, Nicole, "Senate race is replay for two women," The Miami Herald, August 19, 2002
  18. "Golden Profiles of Leadership -- Greater Miami Links to Honor Regina Jollivette Frazier and Senator Frederica S. Wilson," Miami Times, October 5, 2005 and "Inmates must take HIV test before leaving jails," Miami Times, April 24, 2002
  19. Cotterell, Bill, "Legislator wants ban on 'alien'," Tallahassee Democrat, March 1, 2007
  20. Cilli, Lisa, "St. Sen. Frederica Wilson Wants FCAT Law Repealed," CBS4, August 11, 2010
  21. Nancy Cook Lauer, "Fighting for voting rights," The Tallahassee Democrat, July 6, 2004 and Howard, Brandyss, "Crist expedites restoration of rights for ex-felons," Miami Times , April 11, 2007
  22. Acle, Ana, "Frederica Wilson Skyway principal's philosophy - reach out and hug someone," The Miami Herald, January 26, 1992 and "Golden Profiles of Leadership -- Greater Miami Links to Honor Regina Jollivette Frazier and Senator Frederica S. Wilson," Miami Times, October 5, 2005
  23. YouTube, "Frederica Wilson for Congress Kickoff"
  24. "Bush, Wilson spar over FCAT," The Miami Herald, August 11, 2004 and Miller, Kimberly, "FCAT protesters take complaints to Governor," Palm Beach Post, August 13, 2003
  25. McMath, Trellany, "School attendance mandatory under Rilya Wilson Act," Miami Times, October 7, 2003
  26. "For Dade County School Board," The Miami Herald, October 29, 1992 and O'Neill, Jon, "Election win bittersweet for principal," The Miami Herald, November 5, 1992
  27. White, Nicole, "Senate race is replay for two women," The Miami Herald, August 19, 2002
  28. Mazzei, Patricia, "Split in Haitian vote lifted Frederica Wilson to congressional win," Miami Herald, August 26, 2010