Willoughby South High School
St Pete College.
Carpenter, Building Contractor , Project Manager, Building Inspector
St Petersburg Planning / Historic Preservation Commission
St Pete City Council 2005- 2013
St Pete Public Art Commission
St Petersburg has many opportunities for involvement. I worked to improve neighborhoods, start a business district, participated in committees. My ability to work with all citizens, build consensus, find solutions, and communicate with our leaders has been a successful asset for our city.
Experience Building Dept Task Force, Bicycle Plan Committee, One Way St. Committee, President Kenwood Association, Board Member, CONA, Founder / President Grand Central District, Planning / Preservation Commission, City Council Member 2005-2014, Public Art Commission 2014- 2018, Building Inspector 2018-
I am open to, and will encourage the Rays to stay in St Petersburg. I will support a multi-use stadium that provides more opportunity for public events than what is currently scheduled. I like the idea of moving the Rowdies into such a stadium and having new opportunities for the Al Lang site assuming, of course the proposal has a financial plan that has the best interests of the citizens of St Petersburg included. The redevelopment of 85 acres of city owned land will provide opportunity for expansion of medical academic and general employment.
We need to engage the marine research industry already in place in St Petersburg. That group with other scientists, engineers and meteorologist can devise a long-term plan on what effects of climate change will affect us first. This will likely be current tidal and flood events. They will increase in occurrences and intensity in the coming years. This should be addressed first while planning for bigger more comprehensive projects.
We will have to use every means necessary to pay for the needed infrastructure maintenance, upgrades and expansion that will be required. Building and improving relations with our State and Federal legislative partners will the first thing we must do. We are all in this together and must realize development will not occur in cities and states that do not have adequate funding for these much-needed products. I have experience and relationships with those legislators. Having plans in place drafted by experts in the environmental fields must be the first step.
There are some things we may do with zoning and land use regulations to encourage affordable development of housing as well as business rents. Those options are very limited and difficult to implement. A housing and business trust fund can be created that would provide a reoccurring funding source that would be used to supplement current resources available from County, State and Federal programs. This fund can be created and modeled after the “Weeki- wachee” fund which has successfully built and improved dozens of park projects in the city.
Unfortunately, Council is limited on its ability to enact legislation dictating how private entities function. We can however continue to lead by example and ensure all city employees are paid living wages. We can also make sure vendors and contractors who use city funds are providing wages and practices that comply with this objective.
City policies are job of the City Council. We can immediately review any findings that indicate such disparity exists and take appropriate steps to insure these policies are eliminated or amended to unsure all residents are provided “equitable”, not just equal access to all city services, grants, and other opportunities.
The City Charter is a complex document that regulates how the city and its elected officials operate within the confines of that charter. The proposed amendments are laid out in a report that is 75 pages long, it was released just 62 days prior to mail ballots being sent out. The Charter itself is but 36 pages. These proposals could change the way the city operates, the entire election process could be changed. I encourage all voters to read “Report on the 2021 Charter Review Commission” as well as the “Municipal Charter amended November 2019” and review both prior to voting.
Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering - University of West Florida, and
Master's Degree in Digital Systems Engineering - University of York (UK)
1.5 Years of Experience as a Science and Engineering Teacher, 6 Years of Experience as a Hardware and Systems Engineer in unmanned systems and aircraft navigation, 8 Years of Experience as a Service Industry and Restaurant Worker
Volunteer Coordinator with the Florida for $15 Coalition, Delegate to the West Central Florida AFL-CIO Labor Council, Former Union Steward, Member of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association and the Central Oak Park Neighborhood Association
As a public school teacher and organizer, I have seen first-hand the struggles that working families in our city face, and I’ve organized with our community to change things for the better. I believe that change occurs when everyday people stand together, so I have worked to unite the community on various issues, most recently as leader in the coalition that fought for and won the $15 per hour minimum wage in our state.
I am open to creative solutions that allow the Rays to remain in St. Pete, but I do not believe public tax dollars should be spent subsidizing a business worth hundreds of millions of dollars. What’s most important about the redevelopment of Tropicana Field is that the broken promises of jobs and opportunity be made right. I will fight to get guarantees on the number of living wage jobs, and affordable housing options at the site, and I will hold developers and the city accountable to these.
I helped organize opposition to the proposal to increase development in low lying areas of our city. The effects of climate change and sea level rise are only just beginning, and it would be a massive mistake to place more of our city’s infrastructure in harm’s way. I believe we should invest our resources into strengthening our existing infrastructure, particularly the homes and businesses that our working families live in, and rely on.
We know from our sewage spills that it is imperative that our infrastructure's capacity is taken into account when planning growth. Developers should pay the maximum impact fee allowable, and all new infrastructure spending needs to be implemented equitably by ensuring that the people at the top pay their fair share. I will work to see that all new development in the city is built for the benefit our existing residents, and not just for the profit of a few.
Housing is a human right, and there is no single solution to our city’s affordable housing crisis. It will take a variety of approaches to support those that need it, from working families to people experiencing homelessness. One of the most powerful things we can do is invest in community land trusts that allow people to own a home, and gain equity, but keeps the housing affordable permanently by removing it from the volatile market.
The city should incentivize businesses to raise wages by prioritizing businesses that pay a living wage of over $15 per hour when considering grant applications and contracts. I will push for ordinances that require higher labor standards, including a fair scheduling ordinance that requires employers to provide schedules weeks ahead of time so that working people can have more stability in their lives.
Our city has spent massive sums of money on developments that people enjoy in their leisure time, but has no equivalent to point to when it comes to investment in the well being of the African-American community. It’s time to develop a comprehensive plan that provides education, jobs, housing, green space, and business grants to residents of South St. Pete, at a financial level comparable to the amount spent on the pier.
I feel strongly about many of the Charter Amendments and believe they are positive changes for our city, but I believe Amendment 4 is crucial to the future of our city. Amendment 4 establishes a protected fund for equity in St. Pete. For far too long only lip service has been given to uplifting the plight of the working people that have given so much to our city, when what is needed is significant financial investment. Amendment 4's Equity Fund will be a great way to begin to provide the investment in our community that is long overdue, and I encourage everyone to support this amendment.