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VOTE411 Voter Guide

St. Pete City Council Dist. 7

The city of St. Petersburg operates under a strong mayor and city council system.The St. Petersburg City Council is the non-partisan governing body of the City. The Council is responsible for legislating ordinances and resolutions, approving the city budget, appointing the charter review commission, and establishing a code of ethics for city government and city employees. The Council consists of eight (8) Council Members, elected from each of the eight (8) districts of the City. Elections for the Council are held in odd-numbered years, with each election including (4) of the (8) districts. The election cycle for Council consists of a primary election in which only residents of each district can vote for that district’s commissioner, and a general “At Large” election where all voters are eligible to vote on the candidates in the (4) districts included on the ballot. Term: 4 years Salary: $49,281

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  • Candidate picture

    Eritha Brandis Cainion
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Lisa Wheeler-Bowman
    (NP)

Biographical Information

Do you support using additional city resources to make it more attractive for the Tampa Bay Rays to stay in St. Petersburg? (Multiple choice)

What policies and programs do you think the City should implement, or improve, to attract living wage jobs, support small businesses and generate sustainable economic development? (400 character limit)

What are the City’s most important public safety priorities? How do you intend to address them? (400 character limit)

Rate how well the City is balancing resource allocation between downtown and the neighborhoods and business districts in outlying communities. (Multiple choice)

How would you work with city departments, businesses and the community to create more affordable housing and limit the displacement of residents? Where would funding for these efforts come from? (400 character limit)

The goal of St. Petersburg’s “Complete Streets” plan is to provide more options for public transit, bicyclists and pedestrians. What is your position on this strategy? What, if anything, should the City do to further address local and regional transportation needs? (400 character limit)

What actions should the City take to improve resiliency? (In the short term, that would mean the City’s ability to handle weather-related disasters. In the long term, that would mean covering the ongoing costs of repairing and maintaining the city’s sewer/stormwater management systems.) How would you fund these efforts? (400 character limit)

What are the two most important issues affecting your district? If elected, what specific actions will you take to address them? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)

If elected, what will be your top two priorities for the city, and what would you do to address them within your first six months in office? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)

Campaign Website http://voteakile.com
Email Address contact@voteakile.com
Phone (813) 335-3118
Education Graduate of St. Petersburg Collegiate HS AA degree from St. Petersburg College
Professional Experience Community activist with the Uhuru Movement since 2015; led political and economic development projects for the black community
Public Service Member of the Uhuru Movement since 2015; former chair of the campaign for Justice for the Three Drowned Black Girls; first reparations candidate in the country; National Honor Society environmental clean ups; coordinator of black owned media entities in St. Pete
Strongly oppose
Oppose
Neither support nor oppose
Support
Strongly support
We need a policy of reparations and economic development to the black community as the starting point to bringing genuine economic development to the southside, which will uplift the entire city. Reparations creates policy based on justice and ensures the prosperity for the people of the city, versus current policies created to benefit millionaire developers.
"Public safety" is often the guise used to justify the police occupation of the black community. Public safety is the excuse used to put police on school campuses, or spend over $100 million on a new police station versus something that uplifts the people. The road to public safety is through reparations to the black community. Eliminate poverty, empower the people, create genuine public safety.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
No more big developers building millionaire condos, driving up the cost of housing. End gentrification! Turn over the 85 acres of land under the Tropicana Field baseball stadium back to the black community to build units of affordable housing and economic development. Create genuine affordable housing determined by 25% of the AMI. Funding would come from the city's budget after re-prioritizing it.
This program does not address the transportation disparities in the black community. Currently the city government wants to invest in a trolly that would go from downtown to St. Pete beach, an investment for tourists, not for the people that live here. We want a free trolly that travels throughout the southside, and we want to conduct a feasibility study for a 24 hour bus line.
A city based on oppression and capitalist exploitation cannot be truly sustainable. We cannot continue to sell our city to the highest bidder, to build another high rise or condo on an already strained infrastructure, and then carelessly spend $100 million on another police station. We need to invest in modernizing our sewage system and tax the developers who come into this city to build.
The city government is pushing out the black community through brutal policies of gentrification. Gentrification must come to a halt, we need to create genuine affordable housing and restore economic development in the black community through reparations. We demand the dome go back to the black community, hands off Jordan Park, and a mass infusion of capital for new and existing black businesses.
Reparations to the black community and ending gentrification should be our city's first priorities. We will continue to build a social movement throughout this city to fight back against the big monied interests and corruption within city hall. This is what it's going to take to establish this bold new vision for our city, versus the status quo approach of "progress takes time".
Campaign Website http://lisaforstpete.com
Email Address lisa@lisaforstpete.com
Education Boca Ciega High School - 1987 Graduating Class
Professional Experience Before working at a City Councilwoman, I was a billing specialist for a local injury and pain management practice. I have also worked as a nursing assistant.
Public Service I served in the Army from 1988 to 1990. I was the first black President of the Council of Neighborhood Associations in St. Petersburg in 2014. Before that, I was the President of the Wildwood Heights Neighborhood Association. I have been serving on St. Petersburg City Council for the last four years.
Strongly oppose
Oppose
Neither support nor oppose
Support
Strongly support
The City should continue to improve its transportation system as part of a larger plan to attract living wage jobs and generate sustainable economic development. We need to get our residents ready for those jobs and increase investments in workforce development initiatives. I also want to ensure the services the City already provides are actually helping the small business owners who need it most.
The top public safety priority is continuing to improve the relationships between officers and citizens. I firmly believe that Chief Holloway's leadership and new policies played a significant role in the drop in crime St. Petersburg has seen over the past few years. I will continue to support our police and other initiatives like the City's Not My Son program.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
My colleagues and I on City Council have been working hard to address the affordable housing crisis in St. Pete. I support creating an affordable housing trust fund or "lock box" that will be used to create low-income housing for our must vulnerable residents. I also want to change some of our land use and zoning regulations to increase density and provide more affordable middle-income housing.
I support Complete Streets because we need to make our City more accessible, especially for people who do not own a car. I think we can do a better job of reaching out to residents and business owners about the projects under the Complete Streets umbrella to ensure that we're addressing their concerns. I want to see Complete Streets prioritize improving transportation in South St. Pete.
Nobody wants another sewage crisis. The Integrated Water Resources Master Plan does a good job of ensuring that we don't have the same problems we had in 2015 and 2016, and the City is on track with implementing that plan. We are working on solutions to fix the problems with private laterals without overburdening homeowners so that we can do our best to be prepared for major storms.
The two most important issues impacting District 7 is affordable housing and a lack of quality jobs. I addressed housing above. In addition to focusing on improving transportation to bring quality jobs to St. Petersburg, we must do whatever we can to strengthen our public schools and provide students, teachers, and parents with the extra support they need to succeed.
My top two priorities when I'm re-elected will be increasing the supply of affordable housing for low-income residents and advocating for better public transportation in District 7. These are important equity issues that I am already fighting for on City Council, but these are issues that unfortunately cannot be solved overnight. I'm interested in finding long-term solutions to the issues we face.