CORAL SPRINGS, FL – This week, city commissioners honored one of their own: Joshua Simmons.
It wasn’t for a heroic act or a life-changing policy. Instead, it was to acknowledge a historic electoral shift in Coral Springs: Simmons is the first African-American elected to the commission since the city incorporated in 1963.
In conjunction with Black History Month, Simmons got a plague Wednesday evening marking his achievement.
The 32-year-old government teacher at Coral Spring High School stood in front of the dais with fellow commissioners, his fiancé Cheyenne Howe and sister Jade Wyatt and told the crowd watching in front of him and at home that he didn’t run to make history when he was elected in 2018.
“It was much more important for me to run on my merits and what I wanted to do for the city,” he said. “If anyone sets out to make history, you won’t make it.”
Simmons was elected as the city’s racial composition changed over the years. Coral Springs is 44 percent white, while blacks and Hispanics account for 47 percent of the population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census outlined in the city’s 2020 budget. Asians are just under 6 percent of the population.
Simmons said he focused his campaign on how he can make life better for residents.
“I always believed that people will look past what I look like and what I sound like and really see who I am and what I can do for them, for their families, for their children.”