It’s all about economic justice, opines South Carolina Democratic US Senate candidate Gloria Bromell-Tinubu; as a seasoned, savvy and expert economist, she knows the politics of money and wealth.
Perhaps that’s why she was recently in a swank downtown Atlanta condo for a private fundraiser, hosted by influential international human rights activist Joseph Beasley, successful business owner and renowned developer Egbert Perry, and Atlanta City Council President, Felicia Moore.
That’s also why Dr. Bromell-Tinubu is set to kick-off a state-wide “Reshaping America: Economic Justice Tour” designed to engage and empower the South Carolina electorate.
“We’ve always known that the source of poverty and economic disparity is the concentration of unlimited corporate power of monopolies and we must address it by instituting public policies rooted in economic justice,” Bromell-Tinubu said.
“For me, it’s not about how the economy is doing, I will ask voters, ‘How is Your Economy Doing?’”, provocatively says the former chair of Spelman College’s Economics department. Popular political influencer Stacey Abrams was one of her former students. “I’ve always known that my purpose on this planet has been to serve people who’ve been underserved and at the margins, particularly when it relates to economics.
“So, for me, economic justice is the number one issue and economic freedom is the number one freedom,” she said. “(President) Roosevelt said if don’t have economic freedom, there’s no real freedom. This is about freedom and justice for everyone.”
Applied, or some say every day, economics is Bromell-Tinubu’s career and calling card. It’s who she is and her professional expertise. That’s also why she is confident she can beat her Democratic opponent, former-lobbyist and Washington-insider, Jaime Harrison, and then upset the Republican incumbent, Lindsey Graham. Neither her Democratic or Republican Senate competitors can compete with her in that essential arena.
“As an economist, I believe our public policies should be centered around families, small businesses, environmental stewardship, economic justice, and economic freedom,” said Bromell-Tinubu, who in 1977 became the first African American woman to earn a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Clemson University.
In 1986, Bromell-Tinubu also became the first Black student to earn a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Clemson.
“I want to speak in such a way that encourages those Republicans who are fed up with [Sen] Graham and [President] Trump that they will say ‘I’m going to support this woman. I’m going to crossover and vote for her’,” she continued. “For most people, it’s all about economics and kitchen-table issues, and neither of my opponents can touch me when it comes to those two things. We also need to increase the federal minimum wage to at least $15 and use the self-sufficiency standard to do it.”
Bromell-Tinubu’s family inherited heirs’ property and she conducted the first-ever scientific study on South Carolina heirs’ property problem as her M.S. degree thesis in the ’70s.
“People are losing their land,” she decried. “This campaign’s economic focus will be another opportunity for people to hold on to their land and make it more productive.”
A Georgetown County, South Carolina native, Bromell-Tinubu has amassed a zealously loyal base of followers thanks to two robust congressional campaigns.
Armed with that support, she will poignantly and strategically proclaim the question to the people and the press: “How is your economy doing? We talk about the economy is doing well under the present administration, but they’re pretty much talking about Wall Street. But our small towns and rural areas aren’t doing so well. That’s why we’re not just taking our campaign to Main Street, we’re also going to ‘Grain Street’, which is what I call the rural areas of the state so that we can ask our farmers, ‘How is your economy doing?’”
South Carolina activist, educator and political strategist, Ade Ofunniyin—affectionately known as Dr. O—said he believes that refrain could prove to be a winning recipe.
“When you ask the average person in South Carolina how their economy is doing, they would have to say poorly, particularly those wage earners that are making $7.25 an hour,” he said. “That’s a lot of people. Most people’s economy is in poor shape. As an economist, Gloria Bromell-Tinubu understands the system of capitalism and how money moves.”
Bromell-Tinubu now authentically and aggressively argued that the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission and its emphasis on poverty and the lack of economic opportunities could be the key to attracting disgruntled Republican and Democrat voters. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized this seven “Black Belt” state commission, which should have gotten $30 million a year. That commission has not even gotten off the ground yet.
“It’s over $300 million that would have come to these seven states, and if you multiply the private dollars that could have been leveraged, you’re talking about over a billion dollars that could have been coming into these states to help address issues of poverty and economic development,” Bromell-Tinubu lamented. “It’s criminal that nothing has happened, and I blame Lindsey Graham as the senior Senator for the South Carolina delegation.”
The Southeast Crescent Region is officially the poorest region of the country. And, that includes the state of Georgia, where Dr. Bromell-Tinubu was previously appointed to the Georgia Board of Education and elected to the Georgia General Assembly and the Atlanta City Council. She was an Atlanta mayoral candidate and has effectively established herself as a credible and compelling practical progressive public servant.
“Gloria Tinubu is really a brilliant politician,” opines Dr. Joseph Beasley, former Southeast Regional Director for Rainbow-PUSH. “She has a Ph.D. and tons of charisma. She will be a formidable candidate if she wins South Carolina’s Democrat Primary. Graham has shown that he is out of touch with Black people certainly, and I think there’s a good stripe of progressive Whites in South Carolina that gives her a viable chance to win.”
Bromell-Tinubu already possesses a well-heeled and well-connected financial backer on her campaign team: a very successful African American Atlanta developer, Egbert Perry, who also happens to be a friend and supporter for the past 25 years.
“She’s been fighting that long,” he said of their political partnership. “It’s in her DNA. In every facet of her life since I’ve known her, she’s been finding a way to empower people and help people to build wealth. As, she said, without economic freedom, we really don’t have freedom.”
Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore once worked on Bromell-Tinubu’s Atlanta City Council staff.
“Gloria’s South Carolina Senate race is extremely important,” Moore said. “I missed the memo when the earth shifted off its axis. We’re now in a whole different dimension—the ‘Twilight Zone’ and we need to come back to reality.
“There are people like (Bromell-Tinubu) who really care for this country and care for its future direction. Working for her was a blessing,” Moore added. “(Bromell-Tinubu) has a style, and she truly cares for people.”
Angel Ruiz is a 22-year-old political activist in South Carolina who cannot afford to go to college, and can’t even afford a Friday night dinner date. That’s why Ruiz says he and others like him, can’t afford to not vote for U.S. Senate candidate, Dr. Gloria Bromell-Tinubu. He argues that her upcoming “Economic Justice Tour” means much to him personally as well as generation today and for future generations.
“In the world we live in, I’m your typical story – no health insurance, usually I’m working minimum wage jobs and just barely getting by,” Ruiz said during an interview. “When we spoke about the tour, Gloria said ‘nobody is really free unless you are economically stable’.”
If you don’t have economic freedom, you don’t have real freedom, Ruiz says Dr. Bromell-Tinubu convinced him. “I don’t have the freedom to get sick, for example, without debt I will have to repay over a long period of time. I don’t have the freedom to live a relatively stress-free life if I did have a little bit of disposable income. She’s looking at our economic state holistically.”
Bromell-Tinubu’s campaign team pledges to travel and knock on doors in all 46 South Carolina counties. “Today, we’re living in a very volatile society; there’s a lot of hate, there’s a lot of discrimination that comes from the economic anxiety,” Ruiz, a Puerto Rican native who wants to be a South Carolina educator, opines articulately. “That is a root problem, and other problems exist as a result of a lack of economic freedom.”
Ruiz predicted Bromell-Tinubu’s economic message will resonate and ring true with other young and older disenfranchised South Carolina voters. Others do also.
Bromell-Tinubu said as she travels the state asking voters to consider hiring her as their next US Senator, “the questions I’m asking voters to put to the other candidates are ‘What is your economic development experience and what have you done for South Carolina?’ Looking at our respective resumes, I believe my fellow South Carolinians will make the right choice!”