Trayvon Martin’s Parents Consider Run for Political Office

By Sameer Rao Jan 31, 2017

Trayvon Martin‘s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, revealed possible political aspirations in a pair of interviews promoting their new joint memoir, "Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin," which is out today (January 31). 

"We certainly want to look at the positions that [are] available locally, and then we want to look at the positions for the state of Florida and then U.S. positions," Fulton said on ABC’s "Good Morning America" today. "We want to take a look at those positions to see what areas we would best benefit from and [communities] would benefit by having us there."

Fulton and Martin further explored the idea in a video interview for USA Today‘s Capital Download program published Sunday (January 29). "The only way we can be a part of the change is if we start with local government and we work our way up," she said. "Instead of just telling somebody else, ‘Listen, we need to change laws, amend laws,’ maybe [political office] is something we need to take a look at. We’re taking a step back now to see if that’s something we want to explore."

Fulton explained that she and Martin would look first at local county or city commissioner openings that would allow them to best represent their community’s intersecting issues. "We want to speak on behalf of the community, and not just as victims of senseless gun violence," she said. "We support better education, healthcare, of course women’s rights, human rights, immigrants’ rights—there [are] just so many different issues that come into play."

"I think once you embark on a journey, you don’t minimize your goals—you want to maximize your goals," added Martin. "So you start on the local level and then you work your way up, and hopefully it will take us to a place where we can help more than just local, more than just state. National—that would be the focus."

Trayvon Martin’s 2012 death at the hands of vigilante George Zimmerman inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and thrust both of the 17 year old’s parents into racial justice activism. Fulton partnered with the mothers of other Black people killed by police or vigilantes as the Mothers of the Movement, a group that famously endorsed Hillary Clinton‘s presidential run at the Democratic National Convention.

Martin told USA Today that Donald Trump‘s victory and "law and order stance" could reverse the progress that has been made regarding police accountability. "I think from the statements being made, we won’t [see] progress, we’ll be going backwards," he said. "We in the African-American communities think that there’s a lot of injustices, and maybe there will be more injustices, but they’ll be justified now by whatever bill [opponents] plan on signing."

Both the USA Today and "Good Morning America" interviews focused on the new memoir, which narrates Fulton and Martin’s personal journeys through their son’s death, Zimmerman’s acquittal and the growing racial justice movement. The book comes out five days before what would have been Trayvon’s 22nd birthday.