Eritha Brandis Cainion (NP)
Editor-in-Chief of The Burning Spear newspaper
Graduate of St. Petersburg Collegiate HS
AA degree from St. Petersburg College
Community activist with the Uhuru Movement since 2015; led political and economic development projects for the black community
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
Do you support using additional city resources to make it more attractive for the Tampa Bay Rays to stay in St. Petersburg? (Multiple choice)
Neither support nor oppose
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)
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.
What are the City’s most important public safety priorities? How do you intend to address them? (400 character limit)
"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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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".