Lawmaker Profile

Rep. Frederica Wilson

[D, FL-24]
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson proudly represents Florida's 24th Congressional District. 

Recognizing her record of service and productivity, in 2010 voters overwhelmingly elected her to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a former educator, elementary school principal, community leader, school board member, state legislator, and founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, Congresswoman Wilson earned a reputation as a "Voice for the Voiceless."  

As the Ranking Democrat on the Education and Workforce Protections Subcommittee in the 114th Congress, Congresswoman Wilson introduced the American Jobs Act of 2013.  She has also sponsored legislation to reduce homeowners' insurance premiums, protect foster children, and defend Haitian women against gender-based violence. In addition, the lawmaker, whose mantra is "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" hosted one of the state's largest job fairs, which connected thousands of Floridians to more than 100 local and national employers.

Congresswoman Wilson is the founder of the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan coalition formed to help pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. After being stalled for 12 years, the GOP-led Congress in a bipartisan vote passed the bill in 2014. As a result, her district was awarded billions of dollars in capital funding for major projects like the PortMiami Tunnel, which created thousands of jobs. It also highlighted the lawmaker's ability to successfully work across party lines.

Congresswoman Wilson has consistently secured resources for various projects in her district, including a $1 million grant in 2014 to help reduce crime in Miami-Dade County's highest crime area, the Northside District. The Department of Justice grant will bolster the Miami-Dade Police Department's ability to combat crime and violence and make the area a safer place to live, work, and raise families. During her tenure, the district has received $3.1 billion in grants, contracts, and other assistance.In May 2015, Congresswoman Wilson was appointed to the advisory council of President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" Alliance, a public acknowledgement of the life-changing results for boys and young men of color that she has achieved through the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. President Obama often cites this program, which she created nearly a quarter century ago, as an example of the kinds of projects that his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative is designed to emulate and support. Congresswoman Wilson also is founder and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus's "My Brother's Keeper" Task Force. 

Congresswoman Wilson understands Congress' role as a global leader in human and civil rights and has led its efforts to fight for the safe return of the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls still missing since their June 2014 abduction by Boko Haram and to aid in the defeat of the terrorist group. In addition to participating in two fact-finding missions to Nigeria and passing two resolutions, she has been a leading voice in a daily, international Twitter campaign to #BringBackOurGirls. The Florida lawmaker also created "Wear Something Red Wednesdays" a weekly photo opportunity and press event with congressional leaders and lawmakers. The initiative helps to ensure the girls are not forgotten by maintaining media attention and pressure on U.S. and Nigerian officials to honor their pledge to do all they can to rescue them. A leading political newspaper has dubbed her relentless attention to this human rights crisis "Frederica Wilson's War."

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Fisk University and a Master of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Miami, Wilson worked as a teacher and assistant educational coordinator for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Head Start program. She quickly rose to become principal of Skyway Elementary School.

In addition to raising academic standards and expectations, Congresswoman Wilson taught her students the power of advocacy. 

The experience highlighted the need for stronger local leadership and led Congresswoman Wilson to successfully campaign for a seat on the Miami-Dade County School Board in 1992. Her first legislative achievement was the establishment of the 500 Role Models of Excellence Project as a district-sanctioned program.  

She won seats in the Florida House of Representatives in 1998 and the state Senate in 2002, where her peers elected her Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore and Minority Whip. The Florida lawmaker was considered the "Conscience of the Senate" based on her drive to improve life for low-income families and individuals. 

As a state legislator, she worked with Governor Jeb Bush to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol and passed a bill mandating HIV/AIDS testing for prisoners upon their release and linking them to care in the counties where they relocated. She also passed a bill that made rape in prison a felony crime. 

Born in Miami, Congresswoman Wilson learned the value of public service and community activism from her parents.  The late Beulah Finley Smith and the late Thirlee Smith, Sr., were small business owners and civil rights activists.  Her brother, the late Thirlee Smith, Jr., was the first full-time African American reporter at the Miami Herald and a long-time educator for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 

Congresswoman Wilson is widowed and the proud mother of three children- Nicole, LaKesha, and Paul - and has five beautiful grandchildren.

Lawmaker posts coming soon.