Meet Allison Tant

A Proven Record of Success

A compassionate and fierce advocate, Allison Tant is running for the State House because she knows those without a voice or facing great odds can and should have a fair and fighting chance to build a good life for themselves and their families.

In her childhood home, Allison learned the value of working hard and standing up for others. One of eight children, her mother spent her childhood in poverty, picking fruit and tobacco in the fields of North Carolina for pennies. Her father grew up in an orphanage before enlisting in the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor.

Allison’s mother made it clear — while her family couldn’t give her much in the way of money or inheritance, they gave her grit, determination, and an absolute requirement that Allison get a college degree. And with that, Allison became the first in her family to go to college.

That grit and determination soon drove Allison’s passion for standing up for those who cannot fight for themselves, beginning with the birth of her son Jeremy, who was born with a complex physical, developmental, and cognitive disability called Williams Syndrome.

After Jeremy was born, Allison set aside her career and immersed herself in advocacy for disabled children. She fought tirelessly for reforms to pre-K and K-12 education policy, working to provide improved therapeutic and assessment services for students with disabilities.

Allison founded KEYS (Keys to Exceptional Youth Success), a scholarship program for students with disabilities. In 12 years, KEYS has raised over $370,000 and awarded 157 scholarships to students with disabilities. The organization provided instructional supplies to students, endowed a scholarship at Tallahassee Community College for students with disabilities, and worked with TCC’s Board of Trustees to create Eagle Connections, a college curriculum for students with cognitive disabilities.

Allison also worked with Leon County Schools and Lively Technical College to found an acclaimed summer institute teaching life, social, and independence skills for 60 disabled young adults. 

Recently, Allison helped launch of Tallahassee’s Independence Landing, an innovative, exciting, and affordable housing option for adults with a range of cognitive and physical disabilities.

Allison’s passion for helping those who need it most brought her to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, where she became one of the campaign’s first community organizers. She served on President Obama’s Victory Trustee Committee and chaired the Northwest Florida Finance Council of the Obama re-election campaign, where she raised over $330,000 from large and small contributions.

A grassroots leader for decades, Allison served as State Chair of the Florida Democratic Party from 2013 through 2017. In that role, she set fundraising records and built a vibrant party with a dedicated professional staff and strong volunteer base. During her tenure, Democrats scored victories across the state and helped build the Party’s organization in key counties and municipalities.

In addition to serving on the Board of Independence Landing and the KEYS committee, Allison is the Anti-Defamation League of Florida’s regional representative. She is an active member of the Tallahassee Rotary Club, Capital Women’s Network, Tiger Bay, and Temple Israel’s Social Action Committee. In 2013, she was inducted into the Tallahassee Democrat’s 25 Women You Need to Know. She has served as president, treasurer and advocacy chair of the Children’s Home Society in Tallahassee, secretary of the Tallahassee Community College Foundation, chair of Holland & Knight’s Opening Doors for Children fund, and board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is a former member of the Leon County Schools Exceptional Student Education Advisory Committee and District Advisory Committee.

A native Floridian, Allison was born in Jacksonville and graduated from Florida State University in 1983. She lives in Tallahassee with her husband, attorney Barry Richard. They have five children and two grandchildren.

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