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CONGRESSIONAL FL- 5 ELECTORAL CANDIDATE
Connell Aubrey Crooms [he/him] is a community organizer and activist from Jacksonville, Florida who focuses primarily on issues of economic and labor justice. Crooms was found to have a profound hearing loss at age five, that almost went undetected as he taught himself to lip-read. Crooms attended and graduated with honors from Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and earned a scholarship to Gallaudet University to study Philosophy-Law.
After college in 2011, Crooms returned to Jacksonville where he co-founded the internationally known company Definitely Dope and served as president of the Jax Deaf Professional Club. Also in the same year, Crooms joined the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition working to oust State Attorney Angela Corey, change school names, protest with striking CWA workers, Chicago Teachers Union, and the Black Lives Matter Movement, among others. Crooms organizes working class communities focusing on how economic justice issues affect disabled and all other marginalized communities.
In 2017, Crooms was beaten and arrested during a police riot against people protesting U.S. military airstrikes in Syria. In solidarity with all people fighting police, prosecutorial, and other State violence, Crooms refused all plea deals offered. In a rare win for the struggle against a repressive State, all charges against Crooms were subsequently dropped. Crooms went on to run for Jacksonville City Council and form Community Organized Outreach Kitchen (COOK), to feed people in the city recovering from climate disruptions including multiple hurricanes and floods and presently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Directors of Helping to Educate and Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities.
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