Mr. Anthony (Tony) Hill, Chair
Born September 9, 1957, former Senator, Dr. Tony Hill currently serves as Field Representative for Congressman Al Lawson, Jr. Tony Hill previously served as Federal Policy Director for former Mayor Alvin Brown. He is a Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Theta Phi Chapter) and holds numerous other prestigious honors including Chair of the NAACP Florida State Conference Labor Roundtable, Founder of the Achieve, Instill & Inspire Foundation, which provides scholarships for African American and Latino males to attend college in the field of education. Senator Hill currently holds two Honorary Doctorate of Law degrees, the first from Edward Waters College in 1995 and most recently from Bethune-Cookman University. He received a rare and prestigious honor and joined the ranks of a select group of men when inducted into the historic Montford Point Marine Association Hall of Fame.
Senator Hill served a three-year term on the Board of Directors of Neighbor to Family (NTF), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering placement for sibling groups. NTF’s revolutionary national program offers an array of services designed to keep siblings together while building healthier families and stronger communities through a comprehensive set of programs that support children’s safety, permanency, stability, and well-being.
A dedicated humanitarian and community advocate, Senator Hill sponsored a bill to create the first-ever State Capitol Civil Rights Hall of Fame, making Florida the first state in the nation’s history to have such a Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
Recipient of the Lester Granger Award from the Montford Point Marine Association, Inc., in February 2010; the Public Official Award of The Year from Children’s Home Society in Jacksonville (March 2010); the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Public Service Award (April 2010). Honored by the Haitian Historical Society for his outstanding contributions (August 2009), The Humanitarian of the Millennium Award by One Church One Child (April 2008), and the Norman Hill Award – A. Phillip Randolph Institutes highest honor, usually reserved for international candidates (July 2009).
In the August 2009 Special Issue of Florida Trend Magazine, Senator Hill was featured as one of the “Must-Know Jacksonville Leaders” noting, “State Sen. Tony Hill was an early supporter of President Barrack Obama. He still has Obama’s ear”. In the following month, National Political, a campaign and elections magazine included Senator Hill as one of the fifty Democrats in “People of Influence in Florida”.
During the 2008 Presidential Elections, Senator Hill served as a member of the Florida Advisory Council and Co-Chair of the Florida Change Committee for then-Senator Barack Obamas successful bid for the White House. He was also one of the Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper’s “FAVE FIVE”, an exclusive and select group of key Floridians essential to then-candidate Barack Obama, Biden “It’s About Us” Statewide bus tour, which was instrumental in shifting the political party paradigm in Florida, directly contributing to the Presidential election outcome. He was one of only two State Senate Democratic members of the 2008 twenty-seven-member Florida’s votes. Later that same year, Senator Hill was elected to a four-year member team to the Democratic National Committee and was appointed to a four-year term as a member of the Florida Democratic Executive Committee. Senator Hill continued the extraordinary and history making efforts of 2008 by sponsoring the critical and long overdue resolutions apologizing for its past archaic and inhuman slavery laws.
Tony Hill’s legacy of service began long before entering the office of the State Senate. His political career began in 1992 when elected to the Florida House of Representatives, District 14, and continued when subsequently re-elected, running unopposed, for three consecutive terms until term limits necessitated his departure in 2000. Undaunted, he continued to serve the constituents of Florida by serving as co-chair of the Florida Coalition to Reduce Class Size. Following his election to the Senate, he continued the fight to secure the implementation of Florida Constitutional Amendment 9, which requires smaller class sizes in schools and ensures greater success for our children.
Senator Hill is a former Florida State Senator. Elected initially in November 2002, he was subsequently re-elected to four-year-term in 2004 when he chaired the Florida Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative, which provided a $1.00 per hour raise to the minimum wage and increased the index. As a direct result of this vital legislation, the working poor now receive an automatic increase to the minimum wage each time the economy grows. He was the first African American to represent Volusia County (Daytona Beach) in the State Senate. Senator Hill also served as the former Senate Democratic Floor Leader, the third-ranking member of the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate. In this role, he was responsible for gathering votes on major issues.
Senator Hill’s lengthy and prestigious political career began following a providential meeting and subsequent of long-time friend, mentor, and boss, Charles Spencer, who was instrumental in exposing and developing his love for politics while working as a Longshoreman with ILA, Local 1408, Jacksonville. Here he served as the former Secretary-Treasurer of the Florida AFL-CIO, initially appointed in 1995 and then elected to serve through 2001. In April 2001, the Florida AFL-CIO bestowed Senator Hill with the honor of appointing him to the esteemed position of Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus. Quickly recognized for his extraordinary commitment and service to the labor movement, the AFL-CIO inducted him into the Florida Labor Hall of Fame and presented him with A. Philip Randolph Award. Tony Hill is the youngest inductee, and the first African-American to receive this prestigious honor.
A graduate of Jean Ribault Senior High School in Jacksonville, Tony Hill attended Lincoln University, in Lincoln, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland, earning a B.A. Degree in Labor Studies. Senator Hill delivered the final commencement address of the historic presidency of Dr. Trudy Kibbe Reed, the fifth president and only second woman to serve in this capacity in the 108-year history of Bethune-Cookman University.
Tony Hill is the middle child of Mrs. Cordelia & Mr. Ernest (deceased) Hill, Sr., and is married to long-time love Patricia. He is the proud father of four children and grandfather to ten grandchildren. A man of commitment and service, Senator Hill also inspires and leads those in the household of faith as a long-standing member of the Greater Macedonia Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon, teaches Sunday School, and is the founder and chair of the Men’s Usher Board.
Senator Hill is a humble man committed to positively influencing those around him. His legacy of service is a testament to his faith and a symbol of his desire to inspire by actively pouring into the lives of others so that they too can know the definition of Leadership at every level!