About Connell

Learn a little bit more about the man behind the campaign.

Connell Crooms

Connell Crooms Profile Picture

Born September 12th 1990 to Feliciaia Ikard a Navy nurse and Mr. Connell Crooms a Master Chief- Connell Crooms named for his father spent most of his childhood moving from cities like Key West, Orlando, New York, Orangeburg, he and his family ultimately settled into his father's birth city and hometown of Jacksonville, FL where he has remained since 1997. Connell Crooms was found with a profound hearing loss at the age of five that almost went completely unnoticed having taught himself to lip-read. Turning his deafness into an uncanny advantage and motivator to success-Crooms went on to attend Florida School for the Deaf and Blind where he graduated with full honors and a scholarship to Gallaudet University studying Philosophy-Law. Connell made his return to Jacksonville from Washington D.C. in 2011 as a co-founder of the internationally successful Definitely Dope and President of Jax Deaf Professional Happy Hour. In 2011 Connell Crooms joined the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and their winning campaign to oust former State Attorney Angela Corey, became a leading local voice during the Black Lives Matter Movement, and continues to organize today. In 2017 following the bombing of Syria ordered by President Donald Trump, Connell Crooms took part in a protest turned into a riot by right wing provocateurs. He was choked, tazed, and beaten into unconsciousness, and later charged alongside four others, media dubbing them the JAX 5. True to his revolutionary beliefs and with the massive support of the community to provide 37 different videos of evidence, Connell Crooms refused every offer for a plea bargain and stood behind the support of the community to demand that all charges were dropped. In this struggle the people once again proved they were to be heard and the State Attorney dropped all charges clearing Crooms of and the Jax 5 of any criminal wrongdoing on false charges. More importantly the community proved and demonstrated the power of revolutionary organizing.

Earlier in 2019 Connell Crooms ran for Jacksonville City Council as a progressive independent running on raising minimum wage, funding for poor black neighborhoods, bolstering education, and reducing gun violence by closing gun show loopholes and other measures. As an independent Crooms picked up a plethora of endorsements never seen before from an independent campaign, such as North Florida Central Labor Council, Equality Florida, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and New Florida Majority, just to name a few. Crooms continues to work and build communities in Florida as an organizer and Democrat with The New Florida Majority's Statewide Alliance Group(SWAG) working with seven different organizations implementing their program for a new path to power focused on registering 1 million new voters for the 2020 Presidential election and a new pipeline of candidates for State, Local, and Federal offices all the while continuing his paralegal studies in 2020. Connell Crooms work has been memorialized in a painting on silos called "Unity Mural" by Australian and world renowned artist Guido Van Helten that stands 150 feet tall. Crooms continues to focus on fighting for the right to a job for Deaf people, banning private prisons, expanding language accessibility and equality, advocating Human Rights for all, and taking lessons from whichever city his advocacy work takes him. Crooms sees Jacksonville the largest county in the country by size as a game changer for progressive ideals and programs.