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Transforming Teaching And Learning In Pinellas County

Last year, Pinellas County received a planning grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund and Workforce Florida aimed at advancing career academy learning throughout Pinellas County Schools. Made possible through a partnership with Ford, Workforce Florida, Pinellas County Schools, the Pinellas County Parent Teacher Association, Pinellas Education Foundation and FACTE (Florida Association for Career and Technical Education), the plan has increased academy programs in our high schools. The goal is to have 50 percent of Pinellas County students enrolled in a thematic program within the next five years. Research shows that students in these academies have a higher success rate in school. Students succeed when they are enrolled in coursework that’s relevant! Pinellas County Council

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NOV 14 to JAN 02 to DEC 16, 2012 FEB 03, 2013 IT AIN’T






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Inside this Edition The Presidential Election Edition (& Voter Guide) October 2012 Volume VII Edition IV


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Pg10 The Leadership Files Who’s moving up & Who’s moving on

Pg18 Black Women’s Roundtable draws 30 leaders to Tampa Bay Pg20 Out-Voting the “Elephant in the Room” this November, by Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, Ph.D. Pg 24 After months in the CEO suite, Watson Haynes opens up about the future of the Pinellas County Urban League, by Tracy L. Darity Pg30 How to make your business work for you spotlight on Beleria Floyd Pg32 SEIU “Salting” in black communities, leading the way to a new UNION POLITIC Pg35 The Presidential Election Voter Guide 2012 > Profiles on the Candidates in Pinellas & Hillsborough counties



attention being paid to the Justices & Judges on this year’s ballot (with FAQs about Merit Retention Elections by the Florida Bar) Pg76 From Civil Rights Activist to Urban Gardener – Profile on Winnie Foster Pgs 78 to 83

Faith Files

Editorial: Rev. Dr. Manuel Sykes speaks about the issue of Same Sex Marriage A Social Justice Profile: Rev. Dr. James Favorite Faith & Business Feature: Your Internet Portal for all Things Gospel – right here in Tampa Bay It’s Time to Rise-up St. Pete! One Pastor’s passion drives new ministry (feat. Rev. Walter Draughon) Pg 86: Showdown: Who will be the next Pinellas County Sheriff

Pg67 Beware the Ballot Amendments (A Study Guide for Voters)

Pg88 For Florida Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking, Most of the Audience Stayed Home

Pg 72 A New “People’s Movement” Takes Flight in St. Petersburg Pg74 Why there’s so much

Pg90 The Social Scene Pg83 Fabulously Fall Pg96 The Latest & Hottest (calendar of events) presidential edition | 7

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Leadership Files Who’s moving up, who’s moving on (A Power Broker Quarterly Report)

Emery Ivery named President in new United Way Regional Structure When the United Way of Sarasota County and United Way of Tampa Bay merged in July of this year to become United Way Suncoast, the merger resulted in a leadership restructuring that landed Emery Ivery as Tampa Bay Area President (overseeing the agency’s work in Hillsborough and Pinellas). Meanwhile, Katie Knight will serve as Sarasota Area President (overseeing Sarasota and DeSoto). Both Ivery and Knight will work under the leadership of Diana Baker, President & CEO of United Way Suncoast. Ivery previously served as a Vice President with the Tampa Bay group.

McCallister takes top honor again this year Shauna McCallister, a Senior Advanced Manufacturing Product Engineer in the aerospace division of Honeywell International, was recently honored with Honeywell’s 2012 Outstanding Engineer Award for her work in developing new

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manufacturing processes for aerospace electronic systems across multiple projects. Now in her 10th year at Honeywell, Shauna was also selected for the prestigious award in 2004 and 2009. She received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Florida A&M University and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The 42 year old mother of two is equally busy outside of work. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, where she serves as the local chapter Recording Secretary. She also serves on the board for the Sorority’s Youth Development Foundation, AKA AKAdemy. The program, funded by the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board, serves 6th through 12th grade boys and girls providing mentorship, character building, leadership development, community service, and encouraging educational excellence. Theresa Jones retires after 30 years After serving in various roles with the City of St. Petersburg for over 30 years, Theresa Jones retired this September. Jones’ posts with the City included seven years as the Director of Community Affairs, but she remains well known in the minority business development field, as a

former Minority Business Enterprise Coordinator for both the City and for Tampa General Hospital earlier in her career.

to build membership.

Huggins lands another statewide role Thomas Huggins, Founder & CEO of Tampa’s Ariel Business Group, was named this July as Project Director for the Florida Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Specialized Development Program. That has him working with the state’s largest prime contractors to help boost their work with small, minority-owned, womenowned and other categories of “disadvantaged” businesses.

McLachlan lands cover spot Phara McLachlan graced the cover of Bay Area Business Magazine early this summer (cover story Fearless in Life, Fearless in Business: Phara), for her aggressive leadership of Tampa-based Animus Solutions. That was shortly after she made the Power Broker magazine list of the Top 50 black owned businesses in Tampa Bay. The company was founded in 2004. See Phara’s cover story on-line at www.babm. com/magazines.htm.

Angela Rouson is new President of NCNW In September, Angela Rouson was installed as the new President of the National Council of Negro Women St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section, replacing Signora Farris. You’ve read about Angela in the pages of the Power Broker in recent years for her back-to-back election and nomination to various leadership posts that include, most recently, being elected to the board of the Suncoast Hospice and appointed by the governor as a director of the Juvenile Welfare Board. Rouson’s top priority for NCNW during her two-year term is

Arnold leads new directions for Sheriff’s Department Captain Adrian Arnold became the first African American to lead a command with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department last year, and is not only busy executing new procedures, but is gearing up to help lead the annual

Ride & Run with the Stars charity event this December. Captain Arnold, who oversees the security of courts located in the County with a staff of 223, tasked with implementing key changes, including a new protocol for handling high-profile trials. He also helped lead the security presence for events related to the Republican National Convention this August.

Double honors for Chip Lawrence this summer St. Pete native Chip Lawrence scored double honors this summer. He facilitated the draft of several top players to the major league pipeline; and was named “Scout of the Year” by the Florida Scouting Association. Lawrence relocated back to Tampa Bay after taking the job as the Southeastern Regional Supervisor for the San Diego Padres, leaving his eight-year stint with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010. At the time, Marti Wolever, the Phillies’ scouting director, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Lawrence had turned down two job offers with other teams before taking the Padres post, this time, with Wolever’s blessings. Lawrence first won national attention for his singular drive to recruit Dominic Brown to the Phillies. It looks as though Lawrence may continue to rise in profile in the League, where he remains one of the few African Americans in scouting leadership positions.

Former “Little Brother” drafted to NBA

Hoodie Award Goes to Tampa Bay Choir St. Petersburg’s Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church took the national “Hoodie Award” in the Best Church Choir category. The honor is given each at the televised Ford Hoodie Awards show, an annual production of comic Steve Harvey. This year’s show was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Minister Kevin Parrott, the charismatic director of the Mt Zion Mass Choir and Minister of Music, accepted the award on behalf of the 4,000 member congregation.

Kudos to Childs Park, Neighborhood Rapidly Gaining Ground When the Childs Park Neighborhood launched its “Putting Neighbor Back in The Hood” initiative back in May of 2011, they had no idea that their efforts would lead to being recognized a little over a year later by the City of St. Petersburg as “Neighborhood of the Year for Civic Engagement.” The project was the result of a consensus among Neighborhood Association members that many residents had lost the “old fashioned” values of looking out for one another. Instead, many residents seem to have turned a blind eye to some of the problems in the area. “Putting Neighborhood Back in The Hood” and other new projects have roughly doubled the Association’s membership.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County announced this summer that a former “Little Brother,” Tyshawn Taylor, was traded to the Brooklyn Nets after being drafted to the Portland Trailblazers. Taylor also recently graduated from the University of Kansas. Tampa’s Miracles Outreach CDC Nominated for National Award Michelle Walker, CEO of Tampa’s Miracles Outreach, released the news early this fall that Miracles had been nominated to compete in the 4th Annual Classy Awards for its work in housing and helping foster children. The Classy Awards is billed as the largest philanthropic awards event in America.

Tampa Celebrates Florida’s First Black Olympian These days, black Olympians are fairly common, but this summer’s celebration of Florida’s first African American Olympian reminds us that it hasn’t always been so. Tampa community leaders honored 64-year old Theresa Manuel this July in a ceremony timed to coincide with the Olympic opening ceremony in London. The Tampa-born Manuel was recruited to the 1948 US Olympic Team.

Lt. Col. Derrick Hodges Commands MacDill’s 310th Air Squadron Late this June, Derrick Hodges was named Lieutenant Colonel Commander of the 310th Airlift

Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, becoming the first African American ever to hold the post. In an interview published by MacDill, Hodges credits his dad – Chief Warrant Officer Joe Hodges, a 27-year Army vet – as his role model and said he expects a lot of his aviators: “As professional military aviators, I expect them to be Airmen first. Their demonstrated ability to execute complex distinguished visitor airlift missions is important; but the Air Force demands more. I expect them to progress as leaders, maintain standards and mentor others.”

Donley awakens the Ghost of Jim Crow Kurt Donley has definitely brought a new twist to the St. Petersburg Council of Neighborhood Association’s Public Safety Committee, which in recent years had come under attack for its lack of diversity. Donley, the Committee Chair, may have also won new attention for a beleaguered idea. This September he organized The Ghost of Jim Crow, a book-review of “The New Jim Crow” that drew several public officials. “The purpose of the event is to start to raise awareness and bring our community together to push back at discriminatory laws, policies and attitudes that contribute towards the mass incarceration, disenfranchisement and generational economic disparity of people of color (at a rate significantly worse than that that of South Africa at the height of Apartheid). Quietly without much fanfare we are on the verge of becoming a society that creates a permanent lower economic caste. Morals aside, seeing as that lower caste constitutes 1\4 of St Petersburg that poses a severe financial and social threat to all of us,” Donley wrote in a release about the event.

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Leadership Files continued

Parent Support For Education Council, Inc. Parent Award Octavia Teharte is in the news again, this time, as the recipient of the Parent Support for Education Council’s Parent Award. Teharte appeared in the pages of the Power Broker in 2010 for her volunteerism to help close the health gap. The part-time student and full-time mom has four children, ages 8 to 20.

National Leadership Scene Four African Americans make Fortune list of 50 most powerful women in business Not surprisingly, this September FORTUNE magazine’s annual list of

the 50 most powerful women in business featured the same four black women as last year, though the rankings shifted somewhat: Chairman & CEO of Xerox Ursula Burns at #7; CEO of Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart Stores Rosalind Brewer at #13; EVP of Global Solutions at Lockheed Martin Linda Gooden #34; and Oprah Winfrey, Chairman & CEO of OWN at #50. 4-Star Army Gen. Dennis Via Now Highest Ranking Signal Corps Officer Since WWII Only the sixth African American four-star Army general, Gen. Dennis Via achieved another milestone this year by becoming the highest ranking officer within the renowned Signal Corps, making him only the second Army officer to achieve the feat since World War II. Logan West Is Crowned Miss Teen USA 2012 Connecticut’s 18-year old Logan West was crowned Miss Teen USA 2012 this Summer in Nassau, Bahamas where the competition was held. Blackwell: CNN’s Newest Weekend Anchor, Correspondent Journalist Victor Blackwell left his anchor spot at WPBF 25 News in West Palm Beach this summer to join the CNN network as the co-host of CNN Newsroom on Saturday mornings. Bill Tompkins Named to Take Black Press Helm reported this summer that “Publishing veteran Bill Tompkins will get a crack at moving Black newspapers forward as he’s been named president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the umbrella organization for America’s Black newspapers. Tompkins has 19 years of experience with the {Washington Post} serving as vice president of marketing and director of national advertising. After leaving the {Post}, he moved on to Kodak to become chief marketing officer of its entertainment imaging business unit.”

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Nikki Capehart, Deputy District Director and Chloe Choney, District Director, Office of Congresswoman Kathy Castor; Keisha Bell, Esq., primary election School Board Candidate; Sharon West, Business owner, retired Ex. Dir, Tampa HousingCommunity Development

Attorney Barbara Arnwine presents the voter suppression Map of Shame; red states require Photo Voter ID; yellow states have proposed stricter suppression laws: light blue (i.e.Florida,) are under court challenge to end repressive Photo ID requirements.

Participants concentrate on voter suppression remedies: Trenia Cox, former St. Pete NAACP President; Oretha Pope, activist; and Theresa Jones, St. Petersburg youth services leader.

Youth Coordinator Jessica Brown, Tampa; Salandra Benton, Florida State AFL/CIO Field Director; and youth activist Sabrina Thomas, Kissimmee

Black Women’s Roundtable draws 30

leaders to Tampa Bay Summit during GOP Convention, saying “This election is our priority.”


ational and local black women leaders paraphrased Mary McCloud Bethune, esteemed founder of the National Council of Negro Women, when they convened the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) at St. Petersburg’s Center for Community and Economic Justice (CCEJ) last week: “We do not need others to speak for us. We can speak for ourselves. We demand attention for our families’ issues from all presidential contenders. We

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have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. We have only permanent priorities in this election,” was the Roundtable’s message to the Republican National Convention which was meeting concurrently in Tampa at the time. A similar BWR summit was held soon after in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the Democratic National Convention. A coalition of African American women, headed by Melanie Campbell, CEO of the National Coalition for Black

Civic Participation originally known as Operation Big Vote, BWR collaborated with 30 organizational heads from across Florida in a dialogue emphasizing the continuing economic and youth devastation in the Black community. Prominent among the presenters was Jessica Brown, National Coordinator of Black Youth Vote, who traveled from Washington, D.C. for the summit, as did Campbell. The mission of the summit was to help focus the presidential contestants on substantive issues

rather than on the divisive distractions which continue to pre-empt job creation and training solutions; juvenile justice system reforms; poverty reduction and black wealth creation; disproportionate impacts of the housing-market implosion and foreclosures; non-violent offenses’ sentencing reform; and in this election season, the intentionality of Florida’s and other states voter suppression practices and the entrenched resistance to voterestoration for former black convicts, which cause a major dilution of black voting power. Headlining the BWR Summit was Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director of the ‘Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law,” who also traveled from Washington, D.C. to provide a tutorial for black women leaders on voter suppression tactics, to help them educate their constituents, organizations and community members in countering the rampant black voter disenfranchisement in Florida.

suppression experiences observed or reported during the campaigns and at the voting booths in their communities so far, Arnwine emphasized the universal availability of instant help through the VOTER HOT LINE: 1-866-OUR VOTE (687-8783) - a number which will be publicized and should be memorized by every person in Florida, a state notorious for voting place abuses. District Director for Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Chloe Choney from Tampa, and Regional Director for Senator Bill Nelson, Shahra Anderson

from the Orlando, office, participated in the “summit” and provided additional tools for strengthening black voter participation. They also advised that effective volunteerism during the presidential campaign and election can stimulate voter turn-out. “Everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to enlist their church leaders and social organization leaders in getting out the vote. There is no excuse for silence in an election where so much is at stake for the future of our priorities and of our youth” said Campbell.

As the women leaders related

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uch of what fills the presidential campaign’s cable TV and 24-hour talk shows strongly resembles mental health therapists reports about a dynamic known as “the Elephant in the room.” Patients in therapy often don’t acknowledge their most threatening, irrational and emotional issues, acting as though they can keep these unsavory passions secret simply by pretending they don’t exist. Thus, this imagery - of a huge beast like an Elephant standing in a room with everyone pretending it’s not there - explains why so many p e r p l e x i n g criticisms of President Obama’s actions and accomplishments feel so meanspirited and downright deceptive, e s p e c i a l l y complaints that the President has failed to eliminate in four years, the economic mess that it took the Republican administration eight years to create.

like the bitter bile from having to swallow the new presidential reality congeals into the massive form of an Elephant , camouflaged into harsh criticisms and distortions of very complicated presidential actions, sometimes even emitting unseemly yells like “liar!” or even “Muslim!” which would be pathetic were not these hard-wired emotions such a danger to the country’s civility. The first blatant Elephant camouflage came from the “Birthers” who left no stone unturned in trying to prove that President Obama was an illegitimate occupant of the highest office in the land because according to them - he wasn’t even born in America. That image of the President still is held by more than a sane number of folks who think Hawaii is a foreign country, or who are otherwise comforted by the “birther” idea that the President, Congress and even the Courts slipped one past the American people and that therefore, voters were misled.

In fact, beginning as early as the morning after he was elected in 2008, some detractors as well as some ambivalent Obama voters suddenly realized the magnitude of the sea change that had just taken place. Right away they began to search for an acceptable excuse for their having participated in - or stood by and permitted the election of a black man to be the President of the United States.

Such Elephant camouflages generally have been used to derail or deride very legitimate accomplishments, such as health care reform; or a reprieve from deportation of the children of immigrants; or adjustments in welfare policy ; or women’s pay equity; or significant economic initiatives like the bail-outs; or...... The list is so long that the elimination of terrorist Osama Bin Laden is pushed to the bottom and trampled under the feet of the unacknowledged “Elephant in the room.”

Often, the strong emotions that rise into some gullets

For example, why do an uncomfortable number

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of elderly people who clearly live on fixed, modest-incomes, swallow the fantasy that “Obama -Care” is the President’s secret code for “death panels? “ Or why are the welfare revisions originally requested by a number of conservative state officials, seen as just another way of helping poor people to loaf around, not looking for non-existent jobs? These distracting beliefs arise because that Elephant in the room seems to be blocking the brains, sight and sanity of these saboteurs. It has become ever more clear, especially when the detractors are asked what their alternatives are for improving life for Americans - and they have very few specifics to offer, that the real pain in the neck or backis President Barack Obama himself, the first black president of all of the people in the United States (which does include Hawaii, by the way). That is really the Elephant in the room during this race. It is huge and imposing, yet unmentionable, and therefore invisible to far too many voters. Offsetting the Elephant effect

BLACK MEN AS EQUAL PARTNERS IN AN OBAMA VICTORY In all elections before 2008, the black men’s Democratic vote trailed women’s by 4 to 11% , although a much higher percentage of black men voted for the Democrat compared to white men. But in 2008, black men gave 95% of their vote to President Obama.

Source: Publications by Dr. David Bositis, Senior Political Analyst, Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies.

This year, we need a repeat of African American’s performance in 2008. We can’t dislodge the irrational prejudices of those who find them comforting; our surest counter-action is to once again “outvote” the Elephant.

In 2008, the Elephant got “outvoted,” so to speak. Exit polls showed a very large drop in the number, if not the percentage, of white voters who supported President Obama, compared to those who backed John Kerry in 2004. But that loss of support was more than offset by the record-setting increases in voting by black and other minority voters. THE POWER OF BLACK WOMEN’S VOTE In every presidential election since 1992 black women have voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidate, giving presidents Clinton and Obama a substantial margins of the women’s vote and of their overall victory. This fact has been ignored by most mainstream news reports: the percentage of black women who voted for Democrats in each presidential race was nearly or more than double the percentage of white women who did the same. White women ‘s voter participation for the Democrats running against President Bush in 2000 and 2004 was less than 50%, but it was over 90% for black women. When President Obama won in 2008, again black women gave him 96% of their vote, while 46% of white women voters did likewise.

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Watson L. Haynes, II, now 6 months in office as CEO of the Urban League; board chair Gail Simpson to his right

After months in the CEO suite, Watson Haynes opens up about the future of the Pinellas County Urban League By Tracy L. Darity It’s rare that the Urban League appoints a chief executive officer from within the community he or she will serve. That’s true for the 98 Urban League affiliates across America. Which is why it came as such a pleasant surprise that Watson Haynes, a St. Petersburg resident, won the post this May after a national search for the new top boss. This was his third time vying for the job. Since Jim Simmons stepped down as CEO in 2004, the seat was vacated twice more – by Herman Lessard, who left in 2006, and then by Gregory Johnson who resigned late last year. According to Gail Simpson, Chair of the Urban League Board “We are a community with a close-knit identity, so having someone with deep roots and relationships with local colleges, and City and County leaders just made sense.” Haynes, no doubt knows the lay of the land, mostly from the

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vantage point of a political insider. His pedigree as a three-time gubernatorial appointee and former member of the national African American Advisory Council reflect the clout Haynes seems to wield in the beltway. The fact that Governor Crist was best man in his wedding only adds to the lore. That gives the Urban League a doorway into circles that could grow its bottom line in coming years. But Haynes also sports a certain level of “street cred” with the community grassroots – both as an associate minister in the pulpit at one of the City’s most storied churches (Bethel Metropolitan), and as joint head of the group that courageously fought the school district – and won – to have a federal court intervene in plans to close the achievement gap (Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students). That too is a plus for the League’s expansion goals. But where will it lead? In Pinellas County, the League has long been one of the most stable

and fruitful organizations on the front lines of advancing the African American community. Yet even proponents take note that the agency could be doing more. We talked with three of the League’s top leaders to get their take on the future. When asked for his top three priorities for this new era of the Urban League, Haynes was quick to state “Education, housing, and community & economic development.” These three topics are not new to the League, he says, but his unique blueprint is. The board is fully behind that blueprint, says Charles Daye, First Vice Chair. “The biggest hurdle for us is creating more awareness, more of a connection in the community; and the three-prong approach will reach people at every stage of life – from childhood to the senior years.” In his short tenure Haynes has already sealed partnerships with local banks, colleges, and civic organizations. And for Haynes, all of the top three priorities seem to center on meeting the needs of children; in his words

Board vice chair Charles Daye (far left), and other Urban League directors, setting new directions for the agency

“rescuing many of our children from a future already derailed.” His vision includes a community that works with the school system and gives hope not only to students, but teachers and administrators. The National Urban League Incentives to Excel & Succeed (Nulites) program is one initiative Haynes will grow in order to help local students achieve high standards in health, education, and leadership. He intends to supplement that with career skills trainings for at-risk youths and their parents or guardians.

Midtown campus. Plans aside, though, Haynes adds “Our success will ultimately depend on the community being active and committed, volunteering, partnering, and voting in high numbers. There is much work to be done and everyone can play a role.” Haynes says. “If someone has an idea, present it. If a church or organization needs help with a

program, see if a partnership is possible.” When asked how community leaders can lend a hand, Haynes says “Be on the look-out for a major campaign to increase membership in 2013.” For now, though, you can also buy tickets to the League’s Red Lipstick Black Bowtie Affair, November 3rd. For details visit

Haynes emphasizes that “In order for kids to do well, they need stability in the home,” which explains his focus on homeownership as a priority. According to him, local banks have to be more than mortgage lenders in the black community. “If banks really want to do business, they need to become partners.” He’s working with others on an initiative to connect banks with potential homeowners well before they are in need of loan. As for the third prong of his blueprint - community and economic development – Haynes says, when people are ready to buy homes, start businesses, or find new careers, he wants the Urban League to be central to the process. Plans are already underway to train local business owners on how to bid to become a vendor or contractor for upcoming projects like the new multi-level complex being built for the St. Petersburg College

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Quarterly Business Profile

How to make your business work for you by Tracy L. Darity “Be Steadfast and Unmovable in Every Business Decision,” says Beleria Floyd, CEO, Grand Dames Car Services, Inc. What makes Grand Dames Car Service stand out from the 300-plus licensed services in Hillsborough County? It has an all-female team of drivers, for one. But more importantly, it has Beleria Floyd’s philosophy in the driver’s seat. The Power Broker asked the three-year entrepreneur how shaped a thriving young business in the midst of a tight economy. PB: Is this what she wanted to be when she grew up? “I earned a degree in Communications from Grambling University, and after 30 years in the entertainment event planning business, I wanted a change.” A downturn in the economy set the wheels in motion for that to happen. Beleria had no idea what she would do, but was open to a challenge and knew it would have to be spectacular. On an impromptu trip to visit a friend in Seattle, her future became crystal clear. The friend was unable to pick her up from the airport, so she hired a driver. During the ride, Beleria and the driver shared small talk, and a revelation hit her, “I’ll start this type of business!” By the time they reached her destination, they’d made plans to meet for lunch to discuss the car-for-hire industry. PB: It couldn’t have been that simple, right? “Sometimes it’s to your advantage to be naïve about certain things in business and life, because anticipating or knowing the outcome causes fear. But when you have no idea what the 30 | presidential edition

Women in Black: Grand Dames 4 female drivers

outcome might be, you have more drive and determination, which can produce positive results.” Beleria developed a business plan and borrowed against credit cards and her home to secure three sedans. PB: Where did she get the concept for an all-female team? With 300 car services already on the books in a male-dominated industry, there had to be something original, something to make her service stand-out from the rest. It was while reviewing responses to her on-line ad for drives that she had the inspired idea to hire only women hit her – a decision she’s never regretted. PB: You’ve obviously made your mark. What part of the business do you enjoy most? “My clients are my biggest cheerleaders and advertisers.” Developing longlasting relationships is key, and delivering quality, caring service has gained their loyalty and shaped the direction of her firm. Instead of vying for weddings, proms, and bachelorette parties, she’s focused on personalized services, geared more towards a corporate base. PB: Do you have any new plans on the horizon?

“I’m exploring two new avenues: a Personal Assistant role to provide car service to and from physician or out-patient visits; and a rewards program where parents can use my service to recognize their child’s accomplishments with a chauffeured ride from school.” PB: What advice do you have for young women considering the entrepreneurial route? “Please don’t ignore your haters, make them your motivators. Remember some days are going to be rougher than others, so always bend, but never break. Be steadfast and unmovable in every business decision you make, and always incorporate the 3 P’s in your business and you will always obtain that fourth one: Positivitiy, Prayer & Paying it forward = Profits.”

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Rick Smith, Chief of Staff for the local Service Employees International Union (SEIU), stokes Midtown St. Petersburg’s November voter turnout efforts with a message from SEIU’s grassroots empowerment drives: “It’s not just about the workplace; its about the place where working folks eat, sleep, love, raise their families, worship and die -- their communities -- not just their jobs.” “Community building” is why SEIU’s 500-strong troop of union organizers are on the ground in South Pinellas County, using “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) strategies to be replicated by 1000 union-led community builders who are organizing voters in similar locations statewide. Together with a host of partners, they are following a proven organizing process known as “salting” - meaning becoming embedded in the fabric of the community - to generate voter enthusiasm. Much like South Pinellas County, these communities

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Women were the first to break down the “all white man’s domain” of American labor unions, when male laborers were off fighting in World War II

are more balkanized - by race, exclusion, poverty and cynicism than is true of larger Florida population centers. The SEIU partners include familiar opponents of voter suppression and advocates for voter participation - like the League of Women Voters, Agenda 2010 and Beyond, the NAACP, the Urban League, Florida’s New Majority, Florida Consumer Action Network and the local AFL/CIO, all experienced in grass roots mobilization . In mid-Florida, SEIU is the face of “Big Labor” and currently, the only labor union that hasn’t seen declining membership rolls, as so many unions have. Moreover, SEIU has long been a maverick in organized labor federations. So much so that back in 2005, SEIU led an exodus of six other international unions and their total 4 million plus members, out from the giant American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations, known as AFL/CIO. The rebellious six gave their new organization the name, CHANGE TO WIN (CTW), which said it all, with regard to why the defection had occurred in the first place. Today, while the CTW collaborative largely has fallen out of name recognition, SEIU persists in joining forces with groups that “look like” the bulk of the 2 million strong SEIU

SEIU is one of a handful of ‘maverick’ unions that’s broken new ground for blacks and other minorities in major leadership positions

membership - the majority of whom are people of color and “workers,” in the sense of that word when used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Bill Lucy of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Certainly, the other 70 -plus Big Labor Unions donate money at election time. AFL/CIO alone contributed a reported $100 million nationally to Democrats in 2008. The feet-in-the-street resources, however, are what will be required for election success in 2012, especially in South County and other racially impacted voter gold mines. ‘Twas not always so that “big labor” worked so intimately inside the African American community. Before SEIU was formed in 1921, and continuing for more than half a century after that, industrial labor unions were legacy organizations, representing white members and their descendents, while ignoring or violently excluding black, Chinese - and later in American history - Mexican American and other Spanish speaking workers like Ceasar Chavez’s United Farm Workers in California. The higher-salaried unions, for example the Electrical Workers, Sheet Metal Workers, Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Operating Engineers, even the gendersegregated but powerfully huge International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and many

others which, before 2005, accounted for 13 million organized workers under the AFL/CIO umbrella, did not court or specifically advocate for the lowest paid workers of color. SEIU, on the other hand, represents various kinds of servants, such as public custodial, hospital custodial and patient care, nonteaching school employees and maids, janitors and most unskilled workers in the hospitality and food industries. In 2005, respected white New York Times journalist, Louis Uchitelle, wrote what generations of black commentators already had established but could not get prominently placed on the front page of the Times’ News Review: “Labor’s Loss: For Blacks, A Dream in Decline.” This revealing examination of shrinking organized labor’s expensive history of racial discrimination struck a discordant note with many whites, but blacks were encouraged that this mainstream recognition of the “concrete ceiling” which long had capped executive aspirations of all black and women workers, would

National Executive VP for the AFL/CIO

Old School”

speed-up equality. In fact, no one from either group (blacks and women) had ever held the presidency of an international union. Finally, in 2009, a two-for emerged from within AFL/ CIO in the person of Arlene Holt Baker, an African American woman who was elected Executive Vice President of the down-sized but still powerful AFL/CIO. This historic event, however, took place well after 2005 when Anna Burger had been elected SEIU’s chairwoman, and while she was not a “two- for,” at least she was the first woman in history elected to lead an international union. The maverick SEIU was on the move - and still is. All progressive Florida voters understand the importance of voter mobilization and vigilance against voter disenfranchisement and suppression. But there is no substitute for experience, organizing strategies and skills, and the determination to bring about substantive change. In Florida, SEIU has become an indispensable mobilization ally with communities of color because they both have huge life or death vulnerabilities in the November 2012 presidential election. They are the conservatives’ reviled “47%”! The first woman ever to be elected to the leadership of an international union (as SEIU Chairperson, in 2005)

Alphonso Mayfield

Union Organizing Back at the Forefront in Florida


he SEIU Florida Public Service Union is one of the old guard labor groups that’s still knocking on doors to mobilize voters. But these days, it’s with a new sense of purpose. “Some lawmakers want to balance budgets on the backs of working families. The rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer,” and that gives SEIU FPSU a renewed mandate, says state president Alphonso Mayfield, who leads the Union’s 19,000 members statewide. Mayfield was elected as the President of SEIU Florida Public Service Union in 2008, and in 2012 was elected as a member of the SEIU International Executive Board. He’s widely credited with revitalizing the union in Florida with a renewed focus on economic and social justice initiatives. Under his tenure FPSU has increased the scale of organizing drives and boosted membership. He’s also restructured FPSU’s leadership and led the charge for the Union to be more transparent and efficient. Mayfield started his career as a Lead Organizer for SEIU, and over the years served as Executive Director of Missourians for Quality Home Care and State Director of SEIU Missouri Home Care. Prior to the Union, Mayfield worked as a Constituent Aide to the Attorney General and Aide and Campaign Director for the Governor in Mississippi. While Mayfield routinely travels the state, he and his wife make their home in West Palm Beach.

Robin Turner, Local SEIU Chapter Chair

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we are all in this together. Fighting For a Fair Economy In Tallahassee, we have introduced new legislation to bring fairness to our state tax system. In St Petersburg, we are working to create

Whether citizens, parents, or taxpayers, FPSU members both at work and at home are committed to an economy that serves all people, not just a few. We stand in solidarity with all members of our community who share a vision of a more just, green and prosperous nation.

a more participatory and democratic local budget process.

For information about our fight for a fair economy or our community outreach efforts give us a call at 727.823.0011 or visit us on line at

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Leaders of our co-

*Photos unavailable for the following co-sponsors: Sean Dickerson, President, 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay; Joyce Cotton; and Abdul Ali, President, African American Voter Research & Education Committee.

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1 Gypsy Gallardo Co-Founder Agenda 2010 & Beyond (& Publisher, The Power Broker magazine) 2 Dr. Charles Colquitt Chairman African American Health Forum 3 Crystal Pruitt President Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. - Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter 4 Dr. Reginald Ligon President Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. - Theta Eta Lamba Chapter 5 Elder James Myles Executive Director Bethel Community Foundation 6 Judithanne Scourfield McLaughlan Associate Director Bishop Center for Civic Engagement at University of South Florida 7 Lakeisha Simms President Black Law Students Association (Stetson College of Law) 8 Max Oligario President Black MBA Association - Tampa Bay Chapter 9 Dr. Willie Felton President Onyx Ski & Sports Club Tampa Bay 10 Keisha Pickett CEO BlackintheBay. com 11 Ernest Coney CEO CDC of Tampa 12 State Rep. Darryl Rouson CEO Community Benefit Network 13 Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich President Center for Community & Economic Justice 14 S. Lynette Detreville-Price President Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Clearwater Alumnae Chapter 15 Janette Spencer-Davis President Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Tampa Alumnae Chapter

Sponsoring organizations

16 Tamaira Heyward President Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter 17 Dianne Hart CEO President East Tampa Business & Civic Association 18 Drs. Kevin Greenidge & Richard Hairston Eye Institute of West Florida 19 Salandra Benton Convener Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation 20 Dr. Glenn Cherry Publisher Florida Courier newspaper 21 Alphonso Mayfield State President Florida Public Service Union 22 Attorney James Flynn, Jr. President Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association 23 Attorney Cory J. Person President George Edgecomb Bar Association 24 Carolyn Hepburn Collins President Hillsborough County Branch NAACP 25 Gwendolyn Reese CEO Infinite Solutions 26 Lounell Britt Executive Director James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center 27 Eddie Jackson, Jr. President Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. - St. Petersburg Alumni Chapter 28 Darden Rice President League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area 29 Dr. Mendee Ligon President The Links - St. Petersburg Chapter 30 Jackie Griffin Executive Director LiveFree! Coalition

Leaders of our co-

31 Martina Green Principal MYcroSchool Pinellas 32 Beverlye C. Neal President National Congress of Black Women 33 Angela Rouson President National Council of Negro Women - St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section 34 John Muhammad President Neighborhood Association of Childs Park 35 James Jackson President Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. - Eta Rho Chapter 36 James L. Green, Jr. President Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. - Pi Iota Chapter 37 Lt. Col. Antoine L. Jenkins President Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. - Epsilon Mu Mu Chapter 38 Nancy Hamilton CEO Operation PAR, Inc. 40 Lou Brown, III President Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. - Delta Omicron Sigma Chapter 41 Michael Dove President Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. - Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter 42 Kim Black President Pinellas County Classroom Teachers 43 Watson Haynes, II President & CEO Pinellas County Urban League 44 Dr.Yvonne Williams President Pinellas County Urban League Guild 45 Kimberley Webb Executive Director Project Juffure

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Sponsoring organizations

46 Carl Lavender, Jr. CEO Quantum Management Resources 47 Louis Murphy, Sr. Founder The Seven x 7 Movement 48 Theresa Williams President Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. - Epsilon Beta Sigma Chapter 49 Dr. Cedric Thornton President Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 50 Aminta Voyce Vice President SocialLeverage 1 51 Winnie Foster CEO Sojourner Truth Center 52 Josiah Gumbs President St. Petersburg Masonic Lodge #109 53 Rev. Manuel Sykes President St. Petersburg NAACP 54 Carrie Hepburn Executive Director Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative 55 Jeffrey Rhodes Chair, Political Action Tampa Organization of Black Affairs 56 Dr. George Wm. Tinsley, Sr. President & CEO Tinsley Family Businesses 57 Larry Newsome, Sr. CEO Urban Development Solutions 58 Taisha Hyatt President Urban League Young Professionals 59 Lisa Wilson President Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. - Zeta Gamma Zeta Chapter 60 Naomi Nesbitt President Top Ladies of Distinction - St. Petersburg Chapter 61 Maria Johnson President Top Ladies of Distinction - West Central Florida Chapter

Candidates for the u.s. house of

District 14




Evelio”EJ”Otero, Jr.

813-454-9080 813- 410-2750



Family: Married, 2 daughters Hometown: Miami, FL Years in District: 35+ years

Family: Married, 1 daughter, age 14 Home Town: Puerto Rico Years in District: 14

Endorsed by: American Civil Liberties Union • AFL-CIO • Ocean Champions • National Association of Social Workers • Florida Association of Retired Americans

Endorsed by: African American Democrats for EJ • Associated Builders and Contractors • National Association of Wholesale Distributors • United Christians of Florida • Combat Veterans for Congress

Education: JD, Florida State University • BA, Emory University

Education: Iowa State University graduate degree in Political Science & Journalism • Troy State University master’s degree in International Relations • Air War College masters in Strategic Studies

Career Positions: Elected U.S. Representative in 2006; relected in 2008 and 2010 • Elected in 2002 as a Commissioner to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners • Assistant General Counsel, Florida Department of Community Affairs Community Positions: Former President, Florida Association of Women Lawyers • Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Woman of the Year in Government in 2005 • & many other volunteer and community leadership roles. Priorities: “During my six years representing this District in the U.S. Congress, I have consistently championed job creation and economic opportunity. I am working with President Barack Obama to stand up for middle class families, small businesses, and for an equal opportunity for all of our children to succeed. I’ve also worked hard to grow jobs in Tampa Bay, and realize that there is still more to do on behalf of all of our neighbors. I am working in the trenches every day for the President’s health care law, tax cuts for the middle class, protecting Medicare and Medicaid, and investing in a good education for all students. I am also taking on “special interests,” like standing up to BP and big banks and holding them accountable. This is an important time for our District and for our nation. We’ve made major strides in recent years, and I ask for your vote on or before November 6th to keep our economy and community moving forward.”

Career Positions: Colonel, U.S. Air Force, Medical Service Representative • Commentator CNN International • Intelligence Consultant Community Positions: Board member - Children With a Vision, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Toys for Tots, and Wounded Veterans Meals for Vets Priorities: “My priorities are to 1. Lead in creating opportunities for all people to achieve prosperity. Fight for fair access to capital for minority and urban core entrepreneurship. Create privatepublic partnerships to develop St. Pete port, free trade zone and urban jobs. Improve job skills training and education • 2. Ensure our national security by projecting peace through strength, properly planning, preparing and funding our forces, eliminating foreign aid except by mutual aid contracts • 3. Sponsor massive reform of Congress; including, cutting their pay, decreasing their office and travel budgets, disallowing exempting themselves from laws they pass onto us, require members of Congress to spend half their time in the district and/or working with constituents, making it illegal to take money during legislative session • 4. Balance the budget so the U.S. can prosper and keep promise of Social Security, Medicare and a safety net for those who need it • 5. Making accessibility to the voters in the district a priority.” presidential edition | 41 presidential edition | 00

Race for U.S. Senator Candidate Profile:

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson Submitted by Campaign to elect Bill Nelson


5th generation Floridian, Bill Nelson has always been an unrelenting advocate for all Floridians. He’s also become a respected voice in a political time when increasing incivility in the public square makes finding solutions all the more difficult. Bill first began serving Floridians as a state legislator, then congressman, then state Cabinet officer, and now as a senior U.S. senator. He firmly believes public service is a noble calling - and has devoted his life to serving his community, his state and his country, including his 6 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. But the defining event in his life came in 1972, when he married Grace Cavert Nelson. The couple has raised 2 children.

Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, Bill has, among other things: • Prevented oil companies from drilling in vital military training areas off of Florida’s Gulf Coast; • Fought for restoring the Everglades; • Passed a law to send BP fines directly to the communities harmed by the oil spill; • Stopped the federal government from confiscating lower-cost prescription drugs from consumers who bought them from Canadian pharmacies. Now, he wants to keep fighting for Florida and for our country – to create jobs and expand the middle class, to get our country’s financial house back in order, to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare, and to strengthen national security.

HIS OPPONENTS: Connie Mack (Rep) did not submit his profile for this Voter Guide, and there are two other Independent candidates in this race (Bill Gaylor and Chris Borgia). HOW TO LEARN MORE:,, and

District 1

Candidates for

pinellas COUNTY

(At large)




Janet C.Long


Democrat 727-692-0785 727-543-0775

Family: Married, 3 children Home Town: Safety Harbor Years in District: 23

Family: Married, 3 adult children, ages 43, 33 and 31 Home Town: Kezar Falls, Maine Years in District: 40

Endorsed by: Florida Firefighters • Fraternal order of Police Lodges 10 & 43 • Suncoast Police Benevolence Association • Tampa Bay Builders Association • Tampa Bay Transportation Workers Union

Endorsed by: Pinellas Realtor Organization • West Central Florida Federation of Labor • Upper Pinellas County Dental Association • Pinellas County Dental Association • The Pinellas Dental Hygiene Association

Education: Providence College, 1985 BA Sociology Career Positions: Current Pinellas County Commissioner • Small Business Owner (Brickfield & Associates, Inc) • Former Safety Harbor City Commissioner Community Positions: Board Member, Police Athletic League • Past President, Rotary Club of Clearwater • Current Board Member, Low Income Housing Network • Board Member, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. Priorities: “As your current County Commissioner, I am running for re-election to provide an effective and efficient local government meeting the needs of our citizens. I ask for your vote on November 6th!”

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Education: Property & Casualty Insurance 220 License qualified, Life & Health & Securities qualified • Real Estate License • Certified Public Manager Florida State • AA, Nasson College - Springvale, Maine Prior Positions: City Administrator - City of Seminole • Legislative Aide, Deputy Insurance Commissioner - West Central Coast of Florida, • City Councilor - City of Seminole • State Legislator - State of Florida Community Positions: Board Member - Seminole Chamber of Commerce • Board of Directors - Suncoast Tiger Bay Club • School Board Member - Blessed Sacrament Catholic School • Board Member Clearwater Central Catholic High School • President, Quail Ridge Homeowners Association Priorities: “Budget, of course, drives everything in our governments today. So, ensuring that the primary responsibilities of government such as public safety, public transportation, and public health are maintained would be my biggest priority on the County Commission. I believe our public transportation needs to be upgraded and improved. Putting fluoride back into our water supply for the public health and wellbeing of all of our citizens, especially our children and the elderly would also be a big priority. What I care the most deeply about is the legacy that we are leaving behind for our children and our grandchildren. I am also deeply concerned about the number of homeless children and adults that we have in our county.”

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Let’s return common sense to our County Government!

Í Florida State Representative Í City of Seminole City Council Í State Tax Reform Task Force Í Deputy Insurance Commissioner Political advertisement paid for and approved by Janet C. Long, Democrat, for Pinellas County Commission, District 1.

District 3

Candidates pinellas COUNTY

(At large)





CharlieJustice 727-210-5757


Family: Married, 3 children, ages 15, 16 and 18 Home Town: Clearwater Years in District: Born and Raised

Family: Married, 2 daughters Home Town: St. Petersburg Years in District: Lifelong resident born in St. Pete

Endorsed by: Florida Professional Fire Fighters • Suncoast Police Benevolent Association • Fraternal Order of Police #10 • Fraternal Order of Police #43 • Tampa Bay Builders Association

Endorsed by: Tampa Bay Times • Pinellas Realtors • Equality Florida • Pinellas Dental Association • Pinellas Medical Association Education:  AA, St. Petersburg Junior College • BA, University of South Florida

Education: Member of Phi Beta Kappa, MA, University of South Florida • BA, University of Florida Career Positions: Pinellas County Commissioner, District 3, Countywide • Pinellas County School Board Member • Chairperson, Pinellas County School Board • Teacher • Probation Officer Community Positions: Guardian ad Litem Volunteer • Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board Member • Early Learning Coalition Board Member • Founder, MOMs Club of St. Petersburg • High School Reform Task Force, Florida Department of Education Priorities: “In 2008, I asked the citizens of Pinellas County to “Back Bostock” for County Commission—and they did! Together we have focused on ensuring the delivery of our essential services through fiscal responsibility, effective and efficient use of taxpayer resources and accountability. Our government must learn to live within its means—just like we do in our own families. Making careful financial decisions is essential to balance the need to provide essential services to citizens with the current state of declining property tax revenues. We must focus on our most important services, like public safety, without raising taxes on our citizens, so many of whom are struggling in this tough economy. To adequately fund essential services, we must streamline our expenditures to prioritize our most important community needs and ensure that we use our resources in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Serving in local government—both on a nonpartisan board (the Pinellas County School Board) and now on our Board of County Commissioners has given me the opportunity to work with people throughout our large, diverse community to help improve our County. I ask you to “Back Bostock” so that we can continue working together to make Pinellas County a great place to live!”

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Career Positions: State Representative 2000 to 2006 • State Senator 2006 to 2010 Community Positions: Coordinator, Leadership Development & Programming, USF St. Petersburg • Board Member, St. Petersburg Preservation • Past Board Member, Big Brothers Big Sisters • Volunteer Community Organizations   Priorities: “Pinellas is home to me and my family. Local pride has always soared through my veins. I was so proud to represent us in Tallahassee.  We were able to get important work done while in the Florida Legislature by putting partisanship aside and working with both Democrats and Republicans.  I was the Democratic Leader Pro-Tem in the Florida Senate as well as the Republican nominated Chairman of the Pinellas Legislative Delegation. The Pinellas I envision has safe, thriving neighborhoods, strong businesses and smart, effective, competent government. There is important work to do on the County Commission. We need leaders to make decisions that are right for all of us – not just the loudest voices in the room on a given day.  I will work to return fluoride to our water, keep our neighborhoods safe and look out for seniors including supporting Meals On Wheels. We cannot allow the ideological extremism that we see in Washington and Tallahassee begin to fester in our local government.  Let’s keep Pinellas the best place to grow up, work, raise your family and retire. Today I am asking for your vote and your support.  We have important work to do. I hope you’ll join us.”

Candidates for

pinellas COUNTY

District 7



KenWelch 727-490-9266


BuckWalz 727-288-5642


Family: Married, 2 children Hometown: St. Petersburg Years in District: 47

Family: Engaged , children 1 – 6 years old Home Town: St. Petersburg Years in District: 33

Endorsed by: Gov. Charlie Crist • Rep. Darryl Rouson • Mayor Rick Baker • Rev. Clarence Williams • West Central FL Federation of Labor

Endorsed by: Glen Gilzean • Brent Hatley • Bellair Women’s Club • Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee • St. Petersburg Republican Club

Education: BA Accounting, USF; MBA, FAMU Career: Associate VP, St. Petersburg College • Financial Systems Administrator and Senior Account, Florida Power Corp. • Software Development Supervisor, Raymond James • 1st VP, FL Assoc. of Counties Community: Pinellas Homeless Leadership Board Chair • PSTA Vice Chair • Pinellas Career Education Board • YMCA Board • St. Petersburg College Board Priorities: “If re-elected as your Commissioner, I will continue to lead efforts that make a difference in the lives of citizens. As examples, I led the County’s Housing and Homeless initiatives, including $34 million in new affordable housing funding; led the effort to defeat a 30% EMS tax increase for south county neighborhoods; supported a County partnership with CHC/Johnny Ruth Clarke for health care access; supported a County CRA designation that enabled construction of a Sweetbay Supermarket in Midtown; and as JWB Finance Committee Chair, I led the effort to save childcare and afterschool programs for 8,500 children. In the days ahead, as budgets are even more constraints, I pledge to continue developing balanced solutions to the needs of our citizens.”

Education: B/A in English and Geography (Geography Student of the year 2002) Sigma Tao Delta English Honors Fraternity Career Positions: Operations Manager, Florida Fun Factory • Project Manager, The Concrete Steel & Glass Company • Operations Manager, Carroll’s Building Materials Community Positions: Little League Coach: Azalea Bulldogs and Northwest Youth Baseball Priorities: “Sixty percent of America is employed by small business. I represent every small business owner and worker in Pinellas County. I understand how difficult it is to generate new business and survive when there is little. I am dedicated to creating jobs in South Pinellas by helping to grow our locallyowned businesses in south St. Petersburg. As a Common Man, with Common Sense I will work in the community to help build stronger neighborhoods, families, and futures for all. My success as a young man combined with my success in our local small business arena has gained me the respect and trust of the citizens in Pinellas County. I am proud to call Pinellas County my home. Together, we can leave a healthy, vibrant, fiscally sound county for generations to come.”

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Candidates for

pinellas COUNTY

School Board

Janet R.Clark


Family: Married, 3 children, 3 step-children, 1 grandchild Hometown: Not provided Years in District: 12 years Endorsed by: Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, Pinellas Educational Support Professionals Association, Service Employees International Union, West Central Florida Federation of Labor Education: College of Charleston, Bachelor of Science Career: No prior positions provided Community: Pinellas-Pacso Juvenile Justice Board • Leepa-Ratner Museum Education Committee • R’Clubs Board of Directors • Homeless Leadership Network Priorities: “Student achievement is the biggest challenge we face in Pinellas and raising achievement must be our priority. We must increase the number of mentors available to our struggling students, provide equitable resources to our struggling schools and provide our staff the support they need to reach and teach all students in a safe environment. • I am dedicated to 100% student success. • I am dedicated to providing excellent schools for all students. • I am dedicated to living within our means while providing for the needs of our students. • I am dedicated to providing the structure and support our students and staff need to succeed. My goal is to create a culture of success in Pinellas County schools.” 50 | presidential edition

District 1

(A Non-Partisan Race, Countywide)

ElliottStern 727-480-3030

Family: Married, 1 daughter, 2 grandchildren Years in District: 46 Education: BA & MBA, USF Endorsed by: Tampa Bay Times, Mayor Rick Baker, Craig Sher, Monte Trammer, Carl Lavender, Jr., and Richard O. Jacobs. Career Positions: Self-employed, Owners Representative Consultant • Senior VP, Raymond James & Associates • Financial Analyst, Red Lobster of America Community Positions: Board, Pinellas Education Foundation • Better Business Bureau, Past Chair • SPJC Corp. Development Advisory Board • Boys & Girls Club, Board • Council for Educational Change, Board Priorities: “Our schools are facing tough times. My pledge is to bring positive results to our education system, using not only the experience of a successful business background and strong community involvement, but a deep commitment to education. With commitment and cooperation we can help all students excel. My priorities are • Removing Waste at all levels, bringing site-based management to our schools; • Classroom Support, giving teachers the resources, tools and compensation they need to succeed • Leadership, promoting high student achievement, core studies, state of the art tools, and practical exposure to life experiences; • Student retention, with stronger interventions among “at risk students”; increased participation in programs like “Doorways Scholarship,” and more emphasis on Career Academies; and • Certifying a future, through Centers of Excellence that allow high schools students to earn college credits and Industry Certification at the same time.”



Candidates for

pinellas COUNTY

District 7

(A Non-Partisan Race)

School Board

RenéFlowers 727-238-5585

GlentonGilzean 727-488-5403

Family: Youngest of 12 Children, Single with 3 adult children (2 Daughters-in-law) and 2 grandchildren Hometown: St. Petersburg Years in District: All of my life!

Family: Married Home Town: Not provided Years in District: Not provided

Endorsed by: Pinellas Classroom Teachers Assoc • Pinellas Educational Support Personnel Assoc • AFL-CIO West Central Florida Labor Union • SEIU/ FPSU • Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance • State Rep. Darryl Rouson • Mayor Bill Foster • Rep. Richard Kriseman • Mayor Mike Yakes • Councilmember Steve Kornell • Councilmember Jim Kennedy • Councilmember Karl Nurse • Councilmember Barbara Banno, and many more!

Education: Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship, University of South Florida; Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Medical Physics

Education: AA, Tallahassee Community College; BA, Organizational Studies, Eckerd College Career Positions: Former St. Petersburg City Councilwoman • Former President, Florida League of Cities • Corporate Trainer, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services • VP, Coalition for a Safe & Drug Free St. Petersburg • Community Health Centers of Pinellas Inc, Manager of Health Education and Prevention Programs Community Positions: Founder & Chair, St. Petersburg Affordable Housing Committee • Former Officer, WorkNet Pinellas • Chair, AMI Kids Pinellas • Neighbor to Neighbor Program with the Childs Park YMCA • St. Petersburg College Village Square Charter Member Priorities: “My priorities are simple, and the citizens of Pinellas County are comfortable with my track record of ‘keeping the main thing the main thing.’ If elected, I will focus on working together to close the achievement gap; support the expansion of Career Academies; champion the Pre-Kindergarten Readiness Program; engage greater parental support; and provide full support for classroom teachers.”

Endorsed by: Former School Board Member Mary Brown • Attorney Keisha Bell • Ms. Cassandra Jackson

Career Positions: Currently serving as Pinellas County School Board Member • District 7 • Founder of Educate Today, Inc. a nonprofit organization • Regional Director for Florida Department of Education Community Positions: Florida Afterschool Network • Board of Directors • Tampa Bay Chapter • The United Negro College Fund Advisory Board • Florida Chapter • National Foundation of Teaching Entrepreneurship Board of Directors • Tampa Bay Chapter, National Forum for Black Public Administrators • Pinellas County Council PTA Priorities: “My top priority is to increase student achievement! I have a four step plan which I guarantee will increase student achievement within two years. Also, with my plan Pinellas County will have zero “F” schools. Listed below is my four step plan: 1. Increase teacher quality 2. Provide better leadership training for principals 3. Expand parental and community partnerships 4. Enhance before and afterschool programs.

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Candidates pinellas COUNTY

Supervisor of Elections

DeborahClark 727-424-0088


Family: Married, 4 children Home Town: Fort Meade, FL Years in District: 40 Endorsed by: None provided

JackKillingsworth 727 595-7878

No Party Affiliation Family: Married for 52 years, 3 adult children, ages 49, 46, 39 Home Town: Panama City, FL Years in District: 42

Education: Nationally Certified Voter Registration & Election Administrator • State Certified Supervisor of Elections • AA, St Petersburg Junior College

Endorsed by: None provided

Career Positions: Election staff since 1978: Deputy Supervisor of Elections 1982-2000 • Supervisor of Elections 2000-2012

Career Positions: President, Siliconexion, Inc. • Project Engineer, E-Systems/ Raytheon • Project Engineer, Honeywell, Engineer, RCA

Community Positions: Morton Plant Foundation & Arbor Vitae Society • Plus One Philanthropy, Founding Member • United Way Allocations Panel & Keel Club Member • Pinellas Federal Credit Union Board Member

Community Positions: Chair, Florida West Coast Computer Society

Priorities: “I think being Supervisor of Elections is one of the most important jobs in public service and requires someone with the personal and professional integrity to make decisions based on what is right for the voters and is in the best interest of the taxpayers, regardless of the political ramifications. I have proudly served as Supervisor of Elections for the past 12 years and will continue the tradition of conducting fair and impartial elections in Pinellas County. My number one priority is to expand voter registration and ballot access using the most efficient, cost-effective solutions. Although budget cuts have and will continue to be the biggest challenge due to fewer resources and increased federal and state requirements, I have reduced my budget 30% in the past six years. I will continue to spend the public’s money responsibly, respecting the fact that they also face financial challenges and deserve accountability for every taxpayer dollar that is spent. This job requires experience, hard work and leadership, and I will make every effort to fulfill my commitment to the residents of Pinellas County each and every day.” 00 | presidential 52 | presidential edition edition

Education: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Georgia Tech • MBA - Florida Tech

Priorities: “It is not the job of the Supervisor of Elections to discourage In-Person Voting. I will reopen the eight convenient neighborhood public libraries for Early Voting closed by the incumbent and I will ensure that there are enough resources at each polling place to prevent long lines. I will ensure that those who may be required to vote a provisional ballot are given quick and courteous service. I will greatly reduce the turnover in polling places and erect permanent year round roadside signs to identify polling places. My formal education and professional private sector experience enables me to provide competent leadership for a modern technology driven elections office. I will not need any expensive outside elections consultants nor will I need seven highly paid appointed deputies. I will make third party voter registration unnecessary by deploying mobile Voting Rights Vehicles where citizens can register to vote, obtain a proper photo ID and become a Mail Ballot Voter while remaining in their community and by aggressive outreach to schools and civic organizations. I will greatly improve opportunities and training for citizens to observe and monitor elections office and polling place operations. No closed door or distant operations.”

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Candidates for hillsborough COUNTY Supervisor of Elections RichGlorioso

CraigLatimer 813-757-6004 813-298-7282



Family: Married 45 years , 2 boys and 6 grandchildren Home Town: Danbury, CT Years in District: 18

Family: Married, 1 son, age 31 and 1 grandson Home Town: Born and raised in Hillsborough County Years in District:  All my life!

Endorsed by: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio • United Christians of Florida • Hillsborough County Farm Bureau • Association of Builders and Contractors • Commissioner Adam Putman

Endorsed by: The Tampa Tribune • The Florida Sentinel • La Gaceta • US Representative Kathy Castor • Senator Arthenia L. Joyner

Education: Central Michigan Univ - M.A. Management • Northeastern Univ - B.A. Mathematics Career Positions: Florida State Representative 2004-2012 - Chaired Transportation & Economic Dev. Appropriations and Justice Appropriations sub-committees • Plant City Commissioner 1998-2004 - Chaired Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization • Colonel (Ret.) USAF 27 years • Logistics Group Commander • USAF Military Airlift Command, Deputy Director then Chief of Logistics Plans Community Positions: Board Member - Tampa Family Justice Center, a one stop center for helping victims of Domestic Violence; The Family Café, helping people with disabilities statewide; Lowry Park Zoo; Neighborhood Service Center; and Brandon Chamber of Commerce Priorities: “My 27 year career in the US Air Force, where I retired as a Colonel, has uniquely prepared me for the role of Supervisor of Elections. I specialized in logistics operations that were very similar to that of running an election. I protected the constitution for 27 years as a member of the US Air Force, for 6 years as a Plant City Commissioner and for 8 years as a State Representative. Now I want to protect the vote, an action at the very core of our democracy. There have been significant mistakes made over the tenure of my opponent. These include inaccurate voting roll data bases which let non eligible voters vote, a complete lack of outreach to minority communities, and most recently, they sent out incomplete ballots for a Democratic House of Representatives Primary. This error was not caught by them, but by the Candidate himself. These mistakes would not have happened under my watch. I will build a management system of proactive problem solving and prevention which will seek out and resolve problems before they ever make their way into the public. This process is too important; we must get it right the first time.”

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Education: Graduate of Tampa Catholic High School and the University of South Florida Career Positions: Chief of Staff, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office since 2009 (served Supervisors Phyllis Busansky and Earl Lennard) • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, served for 35 years in law enforcement and retired as a Major in 2008 • Crime Scene Investigator, Tampa Police Department, began when I was 17 years old and worked there until I was 20 when I went to work for the Sheriff’s Office Community Positions: Board Member with Tampa Catholic High School; Central Florida Behavioral Health Network; and A Kid’s Place Emergency Shelter • Honorary Commander MacDill AFB Priorities: “Since I became Chief of Staff in 2009, there has been a remarkable turnaround in the elections office: leadership and accountability have been restored, election results are reported in a timely and accurate manner, the office is impartial and nonpartisan, we are a model of ethics and professionalism, and we provide excellent voter services, education and outreach. However, a very serious problem facing the office now is maintaining fair, accessible and transparent elections in which every eligible voter is entitled to cast their ballot confidently and securely, free of barriers, intimidation or suppression.  If elected Supervisor of Elections, in addition to working every day to maintain our advances and build on our successes, I will continue to fight to protect the integrity of the voting process and the rights of voters.  The elections process should not be swayed by ideology or ideologues, but must be fairly administered for the benefit of all eligible voters.  I will remain a leader in elections offices throughout the state in protecting voter rights, and I will assure that elections in our county continue to be conducted in a transparent, accountable and efficient manner.”

n o s ’ t a h W Hillsborough’s by Shari Hazlett

6-page ballot? In the longest ballot in recent history, Hillsborough County voters will be combing through a six-page ballot. After a handful of high profile federal races appearing at the top of the slate, voters can expect to plod their way through a record number of “down ballot” races. That includes voting for or against 11 amendments to the Florida Constitution as well as whether to retain three Florida Supreme Court Justices and judges in the District Court of Appeal. Here is a summary of the Hillsborough County races (and some crib notes about why the ballot’s so long this year; for more insight in the 11 ballot amendments, see our cheat sheet, also in this edition):

Surprisingly hot race this year Property Appraiser: Rhonda Storms (Rep) vs. Bob Henriquez (Dem), James DeMio (NPA), and Robert Townsend (NPA) Earlier this year, Republican Rhonda Storms quickly ended her State Senate re-election campaign and swiftly filed to run for Property Appraiser against the scandal-ridden incumbent, Rob Turner. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Storms defeated Turner in the August primary and now faces a Democratic opponent, former State House Rep. Bob Henriquez, on the November 6 ballot. Two non-party affiliated candidates, James DeMio and Robert Townsend, are also on the ballot. In this contest, two well-known and wellfinanced candidates are battling it out in what is typically a quiet, downballot race.

Possibly the least competitive race on the ballot Hillsborough County Sheriff: Sheriff David Gee vs. Write In candidate David Gee is a lifelong Hillsborough County resident. Sheriff Gee served as chief deputy until his election to Sheriff in 2004. According to a recent profile in the Tampa Tribune, Sheriff Gee’s administration is credited with a 15.5% reduction in major crime since last year and a 45% decrease in overall crime rates over the past 4 years. Sheriff Gee touts that the Sheriff’s department has remained efficient and effective despite budget reductions. He will appear on the November 6 ballot, with opposition from a Write-In candidate.

Other races that could draw heat County Commission, District 4: Al Higginbotham (Rep) vs. Mark Nash (Dem), Joy Green (NPA) Plant City republican, Al Higginbotham, joined the Board of County Commissioners after winning a special election in 2006. Higginbotham served as the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners from 20102011. Democratic challenger, Mark Nash, has served as an aide in County Commissioner Kevin Beckner’s office and most recently as a strategist for Linda Saul-Sena in her unsuccessful run for the Commission. Many believe this Republican-leaning East Hillsborough district will re-elect the incumbent, Al Higginbotham. Independent Joy Green will also be on the November 6th ballot.

A Contest of Ideals Supervisor of Elections: Craig Latimer (Dem) vs. Rich Glorioso (Rep) Democrat Craig Latimer, a former employee of the Hillsborough county Sheriff’s department, was appointed to his current role as Chief of Staff in the office of the Supervisor of Elections. Current Supervisor of Elections, Earl Lennard, is finishing the term of the late Phyllis Busansky, who died while in office in 2009. Lennard is not seeking election to this office. Republican Florida House member, Rich Glorioso of Plant City, voted for the controversial HB 1355, which overhauled Florida’s voting laws, and is critical of Lennard and Latimer for questioning the Tallahassee-led voter purge.

County Commission, District 6: Kevin Beckner (Dem) vs. Margaret Iuculano (Rep) Incumbent Commissioner Kevin Beckner has raised over $275,000 in this county-wide race against Republican challenger, Margaret Iuculano. Beckner, a Certified Financial Planner, won this seat in 2008 when he challenged thenincumbent, Brian Blair. Iuculano, is a self-described conservative who has been endorsed by former Commissioner Blair. She is the founder of a non-profit organization that benefits foster children in Hillsborough County. presidential edition | 57

what’s on hillsborough’s 6 page ballot continued Lesser Known Races

School Board, District 7: Terry Kemple v. Carol Kurdell Carol Kurdell, six-term incumbent on the Hillsborough County School Board, faces challenger Terry Kemple in a runoff on the November 6 ballot. Kurdell has been a member of the school board for 20 years. Kemple, a conservative activist from Valrico, is seeking election to protect conservative family values in the public school system. Kemple unsuccessfully ran for school board in 2010.

Unlike many Florida counties, Hillsborough lets the voters decide who will occupy lesserknown public offices. You’ll see these two special seats on the ballot, plus a slew of “Supervisor” races for officials to lead the many “Community Development Districts” located in the county.

Soil and Water Conservation Board Races Group 2: Sharon Collins v. Shane Holman Group 4: Roy Gene v. Joe Wendt This board of elected supervisors was founded in 1946 to oversee a grassroots program that educates and makes recommendations on natural resource conservation within Hillsborough County. This

Board also works with farmers and ranchers to help preserve natural resources through irrigation water management, and offering free services ranging from design assistance to system audits. What is the “Supervisor” job for Hillsborough’s “Community Development Districts (CDDs)?” These are independent bodies elected by landowners in districts like Temple Terrace, Fishhawk, Harbor Bay, Westchase and several others. They represent the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County, and work to finance basic infrastructure improvements and maintenance, like potable water, sewerage, roads, and parks. Through these Districts, developers can also finance low-cost or tax-exempt bonds with low interest rates. CDD’s can also levy ad valorem taxes against properties for payment of infrastructure development or maintenance, and can collect fees.

Candidates for hillsborough COUNTY

District 4


AlHigginbotham 813-326-4111


JoyGreen (813) 546-4569

No Party Affiliation

Family: Married for 33 years, 2 adult children Home Town: Plant City, FL Years in District: Most of my life

Family: Married, 3 children, ages 29, 25, & 22, 2 grandchildren Home Town: Royal Oak, Michigan Years in District: 25

Endorsed by: Florida Sentinel Bulletin • Tampa Tribune • West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association • Tampa Police Benevolent Association • Hillsborough County Firefighters

Endorsed by: Daniel Bernard - Somebody Cares Tampa Bay • Tony Nassif - Preventing Abuse Conference • Jane Hansen Hoyt - Aglow International

Education: BS, Political Science, University of Florida, Specialization in South American Government Career Positions: Hillsborough County Commissioner • Motivational Speaker & Author • Founder, Market Place Real Estate • Executive Assistant, Bill Gunter, Florida’s State Treasurer & Insurance Commissioner Community Positions: Former Chairman, State Farmer’s Market • Former Member, Kiwanis • Former Chairman, Hillsborough County Republican Party Priorities: “My top priorities for the citizens of Hillsborough are to attract and create new jobs and businesses to our County; reduce wasteful government spending; provide fiscal stability for county government; ensure a continued strong bond rating for Hillsborough County; proactively address transportation issues in a fiscally responsible manner; continue efforts to increase ethics requirements at the local level, following passage of the first gift ban in Hillsborough County, which I authored; and to continue to focus on meeting constituent needs in a timely and responsive manner. I ask for your support and your vote on or before November 6th.”

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Education: BAS - Management & Organization Leadership -SPC, Yale Campaign School Career Positions: Small Business Owner - Rise to the Top Tutoring • Regional Director (South Caroline, Florida and Georgia) - Aglow International Community Positions: Tampa National Day of Prayer Coordinator for 12 years Priorities: “From the kitchen table to the board room, in the streets, in the schools, in the marketplace and in every facet of our society, my goal is to find answers to tough problems. With empathy, a passion to collaborate, I will work across the table to bring solutions. I believe our greatest resources are within us, real people who, with support, encouragement and opportunity, have creative ideas and answers. I am concerned about unemployment and how the economy is affecting our small business owners, our veterans, retirees and families. I would like to see every citizen actively engaged in our county by working, volunteering and accessing services that are needed, with dignity and hope. As a business owner, my company serves the children of Hillsborough, providing them with the help needed to succeed and avoid falling through the cracks. As families are struggling to make ends meet, the children are often at risk. No child was born to be homeless! I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that they are safe, receiving a quality education, and that our teachers and administrators are compensated adequately. I believe my compassion, dedication and experience have prepared me to serve the people of Hillsborough County. Go Green on Nov. 6th!” THEIR OPPONENT: There are three candidates in this District 4 race; the third is Mark Nash (Democrat), who did not submit his profile for this Voter Guide. To learn more about Mark, call 813-786-7781 or visit

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The Scoop on this year’s State Races Hillsborough & Pinellas

-by Shari Hazlett Voter turnout for this year’s August 14 primary election was much higher in some parts of Tampa Bay this year, partly because of the large number of heated contests on the ballot. Competition since several of the winners from the August race are now presumptive winners for the November contest (in other words, the competitive isn’t expected to be hot), it appears that some state house races will show predictable results. In Hillsborough County, Republican candidates are outraising and outperforming their Democratic opponents, with Democrat incumbent Rep. Janet Cruz as a notable exception. In Pinellas County there are a couple of competitive state house races that locals are watching closely.

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In Hillsborough *may struggle for support in this East Hillsborough district, which leans Republican. District 24 This is a three-way race between Tom Lee (Rep), Elizabeth Belcher (Dem), and a Write-In candidate. Tom Lee, ex-Senate President (04-05) until his run for state CFO in 2006, is best known of late for his aggressive (some say vicious) and expensive primary race against Tea Party candidate Rachel Burgin, who stepped down from her seat in the Florida House to run for State Senate. Lee handily won the primary and now faces a race against first-time candidate, Elizabeth Belcher, on the November ballot. Belcher is a former IRS criminal investigator who has raised little money and may struggle for support in this this East Hillsborough race, which leans Republican. Although Belcher was recognized as “qualified” by the Tampa Tribune, the Hillsborough county paper still endorsed her Republican opponent.

*The race for Florida House, Dist 63 seat Shawn Harrison (Rep) v. Mark Danish (Dem) Republican incumbent Shawn Harrison is a former member of the Tampa City Council. Harrison was first elected to the Florida House in 2010 and has raised nearly

$250,000. Democrat Mark Danish, a seventh grade science teacher, was outspent but won a heated Democratic primary. To date, Danish has raised only $12,169 and although he does not have the active involvement of the Florida Democratic Party, he does have the loyal support of local Democrats.

Also on the Hillsborough County ballot….. Florida Senate- Dist 22, Jeff Brandes (Rep) v. Write In Candidate FL Sentate- Dist 26 Bill Galvano (Rep) v. Paula House (Dem) FL House- Dist 57 Jake Raburn (Rep) v. Bruce Barnett (Dem) Fl House – Dist 58 Dan Raulerson (Rep) v. Jose Vazquez (Dem) Fl House- Dist 59 Ross Spano (Rep) v. Gail Gottlieb (Dem) FL House- Dist 62 Wesley G. Warren (Rep) v. Janet Cruz (Dem)

In Pinellas *The race for Florida House, District 68 seat This is a three-way race between Frank Farkas (Rep), Dwight Dudley (Dem) and Matthew D. Weidner (NPA). Chiropractor Frank Farkas, a former Florida State legislator, is looking to return to his old Tallahassee stomping

grounds. In this toss-up, Farkas has moderately outraised his Democratic opponent in a district that has sent both Democrats and Republicans to Tallahassee. Democrat Dwight Dudley, a criminal defense attorney, has secured the elusive support of the Florida Democratic Party, has a strong field organization, and has raised close to $60,000. In this race, voter persuasion matters when voters do not always vote a straight party ticket.

*The race for Florida House, District 69 seat Kathleen Peters (Rep) v. Josh Shulman (Dem) We first met Democrat Josh Shulman in 2011 when he ran for St. Petersburg’s City Council in District 1. He was eliminated

in the primary, but appeared to have built solid relationships and quickly became the Democrats’ first choice to run in this newly vacated seat. Shulman is supported by the Florida Democratic Party, has raised over $45,000 in direct contributions, and has a solid campaign organization.

Shulman had nearly $40,000 on hand to spend for the general election.

Republican Kathleen Peters is the current Mayor of South Pasadena and is the Vice President of Public Affairs for the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. Peters has secured endorsements from a variety of organizations and professional associations, as well as local elected officials. Despite Peters’ bringing in more contributions than her opponent, she had just under $35,000 cash on hand as of September 28.

State Senate District 22: Jeff Brandes (Rep) v. Write-in Candidate

Also on the Pinellas County ballot….. State Senate District 20: Jack Latvala (Rep) v. Ashley M. Rhodes-Courter (Dem)

State Rep District 65: Peter Nehr (Rep) v. Carl “Z” Zimmerman (Dem) State Rep District 66: Larry Ahern (Rep) v. Mary Louise Ambrose (Dem) State Rep District 67: Ed Hooper (Rep) v. Ben Ferrell (Dem)









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Spotlight on the race for Dist State Representative 58

Dan Raulerson Dan Raulerson, a Florida native, was born in Jacksonville and raised in Brandon. He has been married to Shirley for 24 years and together they have two children. Their daughter, Jaclyn is former Miss Florida 2010 and a junior at the University of Florida. Alek, their son, is a sophomore at the University of West Florida. Dan is a graduate of Florida State University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.


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His firm, Raulerson & Company, is a fullservice public accounting and business consulting enterprise located in Plant City. Dan is also an owner and CFO for AaSys Group, Inc., an information technology-consulting firm that serves community banks throughout the Southeastern United States.

Dan has served as City Commissioner and currently serves as Mayor of Plant City.  He is Chairman of the Public Transportation Commission of Hillsborough County and serves on the Advisory Board for Platinum Bank. He is also active in the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, United Food Bank, Sigma Chi, and the Plant City Gourmet and Viniculture Society.  Dan enjoys public speaking, reading, cooking, skiing and playing guitar. HIS OPPONENT: Mr. Raulerson is competing against Jose Vazquez (Democrat), who did not submit his profile to this Voter Guide; learn more about him at

Candidates for

State House

District 57

JakeRaburn 813-763-2968


District 66 MaryLouiseAmbrose 727-433-4045


Family: Married, 1 child, age 1 Home Town: Lithia Years in District: 1 year in District, 27 years in Hillsborough

Family: Married, blended family of 7 adult children, ages 37 to 49 Home Town: Belleair Bluffs Years in District: 7

Endorsed by: Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam • Sheriff David Gee • State Attorney Mark Ober • NRA • Florida Chamber of Commerce

Endorsed by: Tampa Bay Times (Primary) • AFLCIO, Teamsters • National Organization for Women • Ruth’s List Florida • Democratic Women’s Club of Florida • Rich Kriseman, FL State Representative • Bill Heller, Former FL State Representative

Education: Bachelor’s in Agricultural Communication, Minor in Food & Resource Economics, Minor in Agricultural Law Career Positions: Marketing Director, Hinton Farms Produce, Inc. • Director of Food Safety, Hinton Farms Produce, Inc. • Marketing Specialist, Florida Department of Citrus Community Positions: Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Board • Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Committee • Florida Strawberry Growers Association Marketing Committee • University of Florida, College of Agricultural & Life Science Alumni Board • Brandon & Plant City Chambers of Commerce Member Priorities: “My priorities are 1. Economic Growth - Our economy continues to struggle. To ensure our prosperity we must work to grow our economy. First, we can reduce regulation and eliminate regulatory duplication that continue to burden small businesses and stifle our economy. We need to create an environment where businesses can thrive and new industries are enticed to move to our state. • 2. Limited Efficient Government - We have too many laws which translate into too much regulation. It will be my priority to make sure that new legislation is purposeful, makes sense, and is based in reality, not theory. • 3. Educational Excellence - It is important to remember that Florida students don’t compete only with other Florida students when entering higher education institutions. We must provide the highest quality education that prepares students to either go to college or to be workforce ready; renew focus on career education so that students are not only educated but also employable; and expand industry certifications to ensure employers that students have the skills to begin work immediately following graduation.” HIS OPPONENT: Mr. Raburn is running against Bruce Barnett (Democrat), who did not submit his profile to this Voter Guide; learn more about him at:

Education: BS Marketing, Minor in History cum laude - Rutgers University • JD Rutgers Law Career Positions: Pension Consultant, New York Life Insurance • Law Clerk to The Hon. Michael Patrick King, Appellate Division (NJ) • Managing Partner, Ambrose and Barkley, Attorneys at Law • CoOwner, East Bay Insurance & Financial Services, LLC Community Positions: Secretary, Largo Mid Pinellas Democratic Club Membership Chair • Bluffs Business Association Priorities: “I am a retired attorney, mediator and small business owner, wife, mother and grandmother. All these things make me uniquely qualified to represent the people of the new Florida House District 66. I will never fail to protect the women in my district and I will continue to fight the legislative interference in women’s reproductive choices. Small business owners deserve fair tax policies to allow their businesses to thrive and to provide good job opportunities. Protecting education is a priority for me. By providing the best to our public schools and teachers we provide a well educated workforce to flourish in the 21st Century. I will always support equity among all people. I will work to protect my district and make changes beneficial to hardworking people and to restore balance and fairness to the State Legislature.” HER OPPONENT: Attorney Ambrose is running against the incumbent Larry Ahern (Republican), who did not submit his profile to this Voter Guide; learn more about him at: presidential edition | 63 presidential edition | 00

Pinellas County Educators say:

Vote for these Candidates

T Sen. Jack Latvala (R)

for Florida Senate, Dist. 20

Rep. Ed Hooper (R)

for Florida House, Dist. 67

Joshua Shulman (D) for Florida House, Dist. 69

Carl Zimmermann (D)

for Florida House, Dist. 65

Dwight Dudley (D)

for Florida House, Dist. 68

René Flowers (NP)

for School Board, Dist. 7 Vote YES!

Janet Clark (NP) for School Board, Dist. 1

Supreme Court Justice Retention Vote YES to retain Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince. Vote YES!

Referendum Pinellas County Schools Approve Continuation of One-Half Mill Ad Valorem Tax for Pinellas County Schools.

he Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association and the Pinellas Educational Support Professionals Association are asking all Pinellas County residents to make education a top priority in selecting their candidates.

Education is the cornerstone of democracy!

of our children. As educators, we have thoroughly vetted these individuals and recommend them based on their support of public education. And remember, critical local initiatives are at the end of this year’s lengthy ballot. Start at the bottom of the ballot and vote for all local initiatives first. Bottoms Up…All the Way to the Top – It’s Up to YOU!

The education of our children impacts every facet of our community. Our paramount duty is to ensure that ALL children are prepared with the resources, knowledge and skills they need to be responsible, productive citizens. A quality education offers our children the opportunity to be competitive in a global economy. The importance of this election cannot be understated. Whether you vote by mail, vote early, or vote on November 6th, the choice is clear. We must lay the groundwork for a shift in Tallahassee thinking by electing candidates who support public schools and the academic success of ALL

Kim Black President, PCTA

We Make the Difference! Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association Pinellas Educational Support Professionals Association

Paid political advertisement. Paid for by the PCTA-PESPA PAC, 650 Seminole Blvd., Largo, FL, independent of any candidate.


veryone who’s written to the Power Broker on this issue is voting YES on the Pinellas County School Board Referendum. But get the facts and decide for yourself. Here’s some background info, courtesy of the League of Women Voters.

What is the Referendum? This referendum was first adopted in 2004, then re-adopted by Pinellas voters in 2008 by a strong majority, and is now up for renewal. It’s countywide and proposes to continue a half-mill add-on to homeowners’ property tax bill (that’s equal to .05%) to help support our schools. The purpose of continuing the halfmill is to support the School district and make up for lost state funding. What will it cost? The continued one-half mill ad property tax rate amounts to about $50 per year per $100,000 of taxable home value. What will my money “buy?” Every penny goes to Pinellas Schools. Specifically to preserve reading, art & music programs, provide textbooks and technology, recruit and retain quality teachers, create a citizen oversight committee that monitors spending, and continue this stream of revenue, which has raised $235 million for schools over the past 7 years. What Happens if the Referendum Doesn’t Pass? If the referendum fails to pass, it will end supplemental support for county school funding, make Pinellas Schools completely depending on the state legislature for funds, and slightly lower property taxes. What will the Referendum look like on the ballot? You will see this title on your ballot - “APPROVAL OF CONTINUATION OF ONE-HALF MILL AD VALOREM TAX FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT OPERATING EXPENSES.” For more info: Visit

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Voters beware – there are 11, count them 11 constitutional amendments up for vote on this year’s ballot. It’s a lot to digest, but there are several groups working hard to get voters the education they need to make good decisions.

the Ballot Amendments! A Study Guide for Voters

Consider this your cheat sheet for the election. Here’s a run-down of which groups are backing and opposing the 11 amendments. Interestingly, the League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP are urging voters to vote “NO” across the board on all state ballot amendments. Other groups address two or three amendments which are most relevant to their area of focus.

*The courts struck and removed Amendment 7, so it will not appear on your ballot.

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Ballot Amendment Voter Guide by the League of Women Voters of Florida

For more information on the Amendments and how the League of Women Voters of Florida developed these positions, see “Where The League Stands on the 2012 Constitutional Amendments“ at

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Candidates for florida state

District 24


Education: BA, Psychology, Washington University




Family: Married Home Town: Seffner, FL Years in District: 35 Endorsed by: Hillsborough County Democratic Party • Hillsborough East Democratic Party • South Shore Democratic Party • South Tampa Democratic Party

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Career Positions: Criminal Investigator, Special Agent, Internal Revenue Service, US Treasury 27 years • American Red Cross Community Positions: President, Friends of the Seffner Mango Library • Treasurer, Hickory Hill Special Tax Dependent District • President, Hickory Hill Women’s Association Priorities: “My priorities are: Ethics: Without ethics in government, corruption exists. Economy: We must support our small businesses and farmers. Education: Teachers are the solution, not the problem. There should be no profit motive in public education. Environment: The way Florida is going there will be no clean air or water for the children and grandchildren. Florida has had 14 years of total Republican government control. Look at the mess Florida is in. Isn’t it time Florida went down a new path.” HER OPPONENT: Mrs. Belcher is running against the Tom Lee (Republican), who did not submit his profile to this Voter Guide; learn more about him at:


Pinellas COUNTY




ScottSwope 727-251-5105 727-743-0800



Family: Married, 3 daughters, 23, 21 and 7 Home Town: Syracuse, NY Years in District: 32

Family: Married, 2 children, 12 and 9 Home Town: Palm Harbor Years in District: 35

Endorsed by: Mayor Rick Baker • Suncoast Police Benevolent Association • Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 10 • Pinellas Realtor Association • Sheriff Jim Coats (Retired)

Endorsed by: Fraternal Order of Police - Lodge 43 • Libertarian Party of Pinellas County • Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County • AFL-CIO Central Labor Council • Tampa Bay Area Transit Workers Union

Education: BA, Eckerd College • JD, Stetson University College of Law Career Positions: Correctional Officer - Pinellas County Jail • Deputy Sheriff - Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office • Lawyer - Private Practice and Sheriff’s General Counsel • Chief Deputy - Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office • Pinellas County Sheriff Community Positions: Board Member, Pinellas Education Foundation • Board Member, Police Athletic League • Charter Member, Rotary of East Lake Sunrise • Board Member, Homeless Leadership Board • Board Member, Boys & Girls Club Priorities: “My top priority is to keep Pinellas County safe while managing our budget in these fiscally difficult times. We have reduced our budget by $108 million over the last four years and at the same time we have reduced crime by 12% over the last three years. The prescription drug abuse epidemic is the major public safety issue we face and we will continue to shut down pill mills and support prevention, education and treatment initiatives. I started the Sheriff’s Diversity Council which is an effort to encourage diversity within the hiring and promotional processes of the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office needs to reflect the community we serve and I am committed to enhancing our minority recruiting and ensuring minorities are given promotional opportunities within the Sheriff’s Office. I am committed to in-jail life skills/reentry programs that help those who have offended to become productive members of our community. I started Pinellas Safe Harbor, which is an alternative to incarceration for the homeless population who need help and not time in jail. We are housing 400 people at Safe Harbor at a daily cost of $13 as opposed to $106 per day in the jail.” 00 | presidential edition

Education: Associates degree from St. Petersburg College • Bachelor degree in Finance from the University of South Florida • Law degree from the University of Florida Career Positions: Largo Police Dispatcher • Pinellas County Deputy Sheriff • Traffic Homicide Investigator • Attorney • Traffic Court Magistrate Community Positions: Member of Leadership Pinellas - Class of 2005 • Board Member - Old Palm Harbor Main Street • Board Member Clearwater Bar Association • Leadership Team - Business Networking International, Referral Net Chapter Priorities: “Pinellas County has serious public safety problems that need to be addressed. My opponent eliminated the fugitive section, the DUI enforcement unit, the human trafficking detective, and the cold case homicide detectives. Pinellas County now has 56,000 outstanding arrest warrants, nearly 15,000 of which are felonies. Precious resources were used by my opponent on marijuana enforcement while Pinellas County was the oxycodone pill mill capital of the state. As Sheriff, I will restore these vital public safety positions using funds that are presently allocated to other areas within the Sheriff’s Office, such as the narcotics division and the legal staff.” presidential edition | 71

A New “People’s Movement” Takes Flight in St. Petersburg The People’s Budget Review Project asked City leaders for a new approach to City Budgeting – and got it! By Aaron Dietrich, Community Organizer, Service Employees International Union


f you’re tired of the same old “politics as usual,” a new thing is happening in the City of St. Petersburg, thanks to an infant coalition group and their People’s Budget Review Project, which launched in February of this year. Though only nine-months old, the People’s Budget Review (PBR, for short) seems to have re-written the rules for how City leaders make critical budget decisions. Not only is the group credited with short-term victories, such as saving us from another year of deep cuts to services and programs like the City’s Summer Youth Intern Program. Its backers say the PBR has the potential to permanently “change the game.” Part of the reason for PBR’s success is “timing,” and nothing but. The project was born at a time when City leaders were wringing their hands about the hard-cold realities: City revenues were projected to be down for a fifth year in a row in 2013, yet there was precious little left for them to cut from the budget. That left the Mayor and City Council with little choice but to consider raising taxes, a prospect sure to impact their odds of reelection. “They were stuck until we came along,” says Rick Smith, a chief strategist behind the PBR project. “There was this misperception that if the City tried new ways of raising revenue – such as increasing our property tax rate by a smidgen, or

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charging new fees – voters would raise hell. But we took the situation straight to the people to ask what they thought. And lo and behold, 76% made it clear that they would rather see the City raise revenues, taxes even, in order to avoid more cuts to services and staff.” Indeed, within months, the PBR had become the largest effort on record that’s involved “everyday people” in weighing in on City budget decisions. How many? By the end of August, over 6,000 city residents had shared their twocents with PBR volunteers. “That in itself is an organizing miracle,” says Gypsy Gallardo, one of the leaders of the group called Agenda 2010, a founding partner of the PBR. “While the Service Employees’ International Union led the PBR’s door-to-door outreach gathering surveys, other partners, like Agenda 2010, the League of Women Voters, CONA, and Awake Pinellas were using their digital outreach capabilities to gather more on-line surveys.” Mayor Bill Foster noted “[The

People’s Budget Review] is the most beneficial, transparent process on gathering public input and the most well-organized citizen budget I have seen over the years. They are effective, and they work towards gathering the

most diverse populations involved. A chorus singing in harmony versus solo voices sometimes make the choir better.”

The 5 biggest outcomes of the PBR #1 The People’s Budget Review project was a multiracial, non-partisan coalition that actually worked. In these times of hard partisan divisions and bickering, PBR built a working coalition that rose above the differences and focused in on common wants and needs. Coalition partners produced activists from all ages and political persuasions. From USF students canvassing in Campbell Park, to neighborhood activists collecting surveys at the Sunshine Senior Center, the PBR coalition united residents in the search for a common vision for the budget. #2 It stopped further cuts to City Services and saved jobs. The City was facing a $10 million budget deficit going into 2013. For residents, that meant the possibility of more severe cuts to our libraries, parks and social services, plus the lay off of at least 100 city workers. When the PBR survey results hit, showing 78% of residents were opposed to more cuts, the political winds shifted dramatically and the Mayor and

“This is the 99% at its best. The People’s Budget Review is the future for our community, in terms of the way we join together with others to have the people’s voice heard. If we want real change, we have to re-evaluate how we work to make that happen.” Rev. Dr. Manuel Sykes, President of the St. Petersburg Branch NAACP

Council began looking at increasing revenue, instead of cutting jobs and services. #3 It was easy for them, but for the first time in 22 years, City leaders actually did a hard review of ways to raise City revenue. That led to some sticky moments in Council Chambers, and still hasn’t resulted in a concrete vision, but it opened the door for new creative ways to generate revenue and build a more resilient local economy. Since the PBR project began in January, thousands of residents have identified economic development as the number one priority for the City. Since then discussions have begun in Council on establishing a Local Hiring Ordinance; investing more into small businesses; creating a local buying program to keep our money in St Pete; and expanding the youth jobs program. A foreclosure registry to make banks and lenders shoulder the costs of maintaining their foreclosed properties

came to vote in Council. It failed in a grid locked vote of 4-4. However, activists from PBR and Awake Pinellas, who were organized to show up and speak at the vote, continued to push. The foreclosure registry is back on the Council’s Agenda and will come back for a vote within weeks. #4 The City was forced to look at ways of making government more efficient, without sacrificing quality of life. The Mayor’s final budget included $2.1 million in efficiencies ranging from the consolidation of certain departments, restrictions on the purchase of new equipment and transfers from the healthy Enterprise Fund reserves. PBR survey results indicate that residents do want more efficiencies that streamline government and focus on putting resources on the front line of delivering services. #5 The PBR was built to last. Unlike other past efforts to get city residents more involved, the PBR

coalition has already mapped out a way to continue giving citizens a sayso on a broader range of issues, not just the budget. The group has created an e mail and robo-call capacity to reach 50,000 residents quickly and efficiently, and has a profile on new media sources like Facebook. Coalition partners have all expressed the desire to not only double down on next year’s City budget, but also to give a voice to everyday people about other issues confronting our community.

What’s next for the PBR? As for what’s next on the horizon, the PBR coalition is convening a conference in early January to develop a common vision for issues such as housing, economic development, and most significantly, a broader vision for the future of St Petersburg. To get involved or connect, visit their website at www.peoplesbudgetreview. org, or join them on Facebook at You can also follow PBR on Twitter @ PeoplesBudgetSP.

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Why there’s so much attention being paid to the Justices & Judges on this year’s ballot

Most voters don’t take much note of the “merit retention elections” that happen every six years for Florida’s Supreme Court Justices, but this year is different. Why? Because unlike past elections when the Justices appeared on the ballot, this time, major money is being poured into a campaign to have them unseated.

Here are the facts published by the Florida Bar.

Frequently asked questions about merit retention elections 1. Why are appeals court judges & Supreme Court justices on the ballot this year? Florida’s appellate judges and Supreme Court justices are on the ballot in non-partisan “merit retention” elections every 6 years so voters can decide whether they should stay in office. This year, 3 Supreme Court justices (out of 7) and 15 appellate judges (out of 61) have merit retention elections. 2. What do “Yes” and “No” votes mean? A “Yes” vote means you want the judge or justice to stay in office. A “No” vote means you want them to be removed from office. The majority of voters decides. 3. Do appellate judges and Supreme Court justices have opponents? No. Your vote determines whether each judge stays in office. They do not run against opponents or each other. 4. How do appellate judges and Supreme Court justices get into office? The governor appoints them from lists submitted by Judicial Nominating Commissions, which screen candidates and make recommendations based on applicants’ merits. Newly appointed judges go before voters for the first time within 2 years after appointment. If the voters retain them, they then go on the ballot again every 6 years. 5. Which courts are subject to merit retention elections? The Florida Supreme Court and the five District Courts of Appeal are subject to merit retention elections.

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6. Do appeals court judges or justices run election campaigns? Usually they cannot campaign or even raise money. However, they can do those things if they certify through the Secretary of State, Division of Elections, that their candidacies have drawn active opposition. 7. Can judges who commit unethical acts be removed from office? Yes. This can result after an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is an independent agency created by the Florida Constitution solely to investigate alleged misconduct by Florida state judges. Through this system, judges have been removed from office for ethical violations. For more information, visit www. 8. Have any political parties endorsed the justices and judges? A Florida statute (Section 105.09) makes it illegal for a political party or partisan political organization to endorse, support or assist any candidate in a campaign for election to judicial office. 9. How have the appellate judges and justices voted in cases? Complete records of their votes are on the Opinions pages of the websites for the District Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court. You can reach those sites through TheVotesInYourCourt. 10. Can I watch videos of the justices and appellate judges at work? Yes. Court arguments

are webcast live and archived on court websites, accessible via www.FloridaBar. org/ TheVotesInYourCourt. For the Second District Court of Appeal, video can be requested to be mailed. 11. What are the appeals court judges’ and justices’ stands on particular issues? The Code of Judicial Conduct forbids the judges and justices from saying how they will decide future cases, because they must remain truly impartial. However, their votes in prior cases are available on the Opinions pages. 12. How can I learn more about the judges’ and justices’ backgrounds? Their bios are on their courts’ websites accessible through TheVotesInYourCourt. 13. How did Florida decide to use the merit retention election system? In the mid-1970s, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment requiring the merit retention system for all appellate judges. This vote came after the public became concerned about abuses that occurred because of the earlier system of contested elections. 14. Where can I find results from prior merit retention elections? The Florida Division of Elections (accessible via www. TheVotesInYourCourt) maintains a searchable database of election results since 1978. Merit retention elections occur only during General Elections in even-numbered years.

undo such a fundamentally American concept as an independent judiciary? Perhaps their motivations stem from having lost a highly publicized case at the high court only months prior.


Open Letter to Floridians about Florida’s Independent Judiciary From State Representative Perry Thurston (Dem) Florida House Democratic Leaderdesignate

This article reprinted (& edited for space reasons) with the permission of The Florida Bar. For a complete copy of The Florida Bar’s Guide for Florida Voters, contact The Florida Bar Public Information Department at (850) 561-5834 or

Just before noon on Nov. 16, 2010, my lJust before noon on Nov. 16, 2010, my colleagues and I were held in rapt attention in the House chambers. From a podium in the center of the room, a speech was underway. “For the judiciary to be independent, it must also be impartial and apolitical,” I recall hearing. How true, and yet how ironic. It was, after all, Dean Cannon, a principal in this year’s Republican Party attack on the Florida judiciary, who offered the sage comment during his first speech as House speaker. We’ve come to learn that by their actions, Speaker Cannon and other partisans have proven that what they really want is a judiciary under the levers of Republican leadership. This fall, the Republican Party of Florida took the unprecedented step of attacking the merit retention vote for Florida Supreme Court Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, who are on the November election ballot. Every six years, state law requires that the justices come before voters to be retained. The merit retention system, which ended campaigning for the high court, is designed so that justices can operate without fear of political retaliation for their decisions. It’s a merit retention system that Florida’s Republican Party is out to destroy. Such destruction will leave us with a politicized and weakened court, the only branch of government that gives ordinary citizens the same respect as well-heeled political interests. Why would Republican leaders seek to

Regardless, Speaker Cannon said in his Nov. 2010 speech that Florida Supreme Court justices are among the “threats to our liberties” and the “threats to freedom.” So, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that under Speaker Cannon’s leadership, Republican legislative leaders sought in 2011 to break the seven-member Supreme Court in two. Their plan would have added three justices and created separate civil and criminal divisions. Thankfully, the effort by Cannon was withdrawn in the face of bipartisan legislative resistance. A less egregious version of Cannon’s strategy survived in the form of a constitutional amendment that appears on the November ballot. It’s Amendment 5, which I hope voters will reject. Should Amendment 5 be approved, the Legislature would have unnecessary control over how the courts operate and have influence over who serves as Supreme Court justices. As my respected colleague, Rep. Darryl Rouson, a Democrat from St. Petersburg, stated a few days ago in calling for an end to partisan interference of the Supreme Court: “Justices should be selected by the depth of their constitutional knowledge and ability to come to reasonable conclusions, not their willingness to succumb to popular beliefs or the armtwisting of the majority political party.” Accordingly, I urge you to follow the advice of the League of Women Voters of Florida and vote “no” on Amendment 5, and to vote “yes” to retain the justices of the Florida Supreme Court. Supreme Court Justices on the Ballot From left to right, Supreme Court Justices Peggy Quince, R. Fred Lewis, and Barbara Pariente are listed on this year’s ballot. The Florida NAACP and many other groups are urging voters to vote “YES” to retain them.

By Tracy L. Darity

From Civil Rights Activist to Urban Gardener A “full circle” life dedicated to equality

S Winnie Foster (center) quickly joined the campaign to elect James Sanderlin as the first African American judge in Pinellas County. Also pictured at far left is Lonnie Donaldson, cofounder of the Power Broker magazine, c 1970.

he was born 85 years ago on an Indiana farm, the daughter of 10th generation Quakers who came to this country for religious freedom. She took the teachings of pacifism and equality and grew it into a legacy of service to a community in need of a voice. Her name is Winifred “Winnie” Foster, and she exemplifies a life that has come “full circle”. Before making her journey south to St. Petersburg, she lived in Hope, Rhode Island, where she and her husband Al pioneered on five acres of woodland, built a rammed earth house, dug a well, grew a garden, and were openly Socialists. Foster jokingly admits, “I was the only mother in the PTA wearing paratrooper boots, I thought it ironic that the town of Hope was only miles away from Mt. Misery.” Later they would move into the city of Providence, where she became involved with peace and civil rights issues. During this era, there were plenty of causes for her to choose from. The Unitarian Universalist Church she joined housed a draft sanctuary for three young war resisters; only the second in the nation. As a show of solidarity, sixty people lived in the church along with the resisters. They remained there until federal officers battered open the doors of the church. “A police officer grabbed a young woman by her hair and dragged her into the streets,” Foster recalls. “It was like a reenactment of Nazi ruled Germany.”

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Foster with Rev. Charles McKenzie

After the incident at the church, Foster became further involved with the Civil Rights Movement. On the day that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, she was at an anti–war meeting with a representative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). When the news came across the wire, she and others were compelled to do something. They agreed to stage a sit-in at the state capitol, which lead to the passing of the Fair Housing Legislation as a memorial to Dr. King.

A month later she would join King’s “Poor People’s Campaign,” an organized crusade to bring national awareness to economic injustices against the poor in America. Her contribution to the cause was sandwiches, and shoes that she purchased for those making the pilgrimage to the nation’s capital. In 1969, Al Foster was offered a job with a manufacturing company, which brought the family to St. Petersburg. Winnie admits it was a move she did not want to make, but knew her place was with her husband and father of their three children. The couple was married for 64 years when Al passed away in July of last year. Once in St. Petersburg Winnie immediately began to make a name for herself. She organized a chapter of “People for Peace,” to raise awareness of the opposition to the Vietnam War; working alongside local and national members of “Vietnam Veterans Against the War.” She and others would go downtown to William’s Park and pass-out leaflets about the war, and protest outside induction centers to encourage young men not to enlist. As her résumé of civic organizations grew, so did her little box of contacts. It was that box filled with 3 x 5 index cards that garnered a call from the late James B. Sanderlin, who was running for a seat as judge on the County Court. People thought it was crazy to try and elect the county’s first black judge, feeling that the time wasn’t right. But Foster felt the time was just right, recalling how she would go up-county, and campaign with flyers that had no picture of the candidate; and then return home and distribute those same flyers on the southside with Sanderlin’s picture boldly displayed.

Foster has chronicled an intriguing list of accomplishments that span over 40 years; evident of a life of selflessness in the fight for equality. Today she divides her time between two projects that are dear to her. One is the Sojourner Truth Center, which opened in 2000 in a storefront on 16th Street South that housed campaign headquarters for the DNC. The director of the site was called away to participate in the infamous “hanging chads” count that soiled the 2000 presidential election. Not wanting to see the office close, volunteers asked what else could be housed in the building. In the early eighties, Foster had read about Sojourner Truth and was so enamored with her story that she thought a center to honor the activist would be a perfect fit. The Sojourner Truth Center opened shortly after with a commitment to creating opportunities for individuals and groups struggling for a more democratic society. Faced with many adversities, Foster was forced to move the center out of the Midtown area, and it is now housed in her home, but continues its mission. Going back to her roots as a farm girl, Foster’s newest project is the St. Petersburg Urban Agriculture Coalition (SUAC) based at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. The ultimate goal for SUAC is to create local community gardens and local farms, thereby creating “green” jobs. SUAC provides a curriculum that teaches residents about gardening and growing local food at Faith House; a “recovery transitional house” that benefits from the food grown in the garden. Other community gardens are now being planned in cooperation with SUAC, as well as with various churches and community groups. The SUAC is concerned with citizens

having affordable access to fruits and vegetables and believes the best way to tackle the issue is to teach residents how to grow their own food. Through community involvement, the project will teach horticulture, and possibly lead to ventures where the growers could sell their surplus foods. This could expand the project to include training in entrepreneurship, marketing, and education. The program has received a grant from the Bon Secours Foundation and has employed an experienced Permaculturalist and two interns to help map where foods are being grown and sold. Another goal is for local stores to add healthier foods that are being grown in the gardens. Foster admits the goals are ambitious, but she believes SUAC is part of a national movement that will bring health and economic growth to the community. In addition to her active involvement in these ventures, Foster is also active in community organizations such as PACT, Agenda 2010 and Beyond, Awake Pinellas, Occupy St. Pete, and the People’s Budget Review. Her tireless efforts in giving back to the community have garnered numerous accolades, including the 2008 Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, from the National Council of Negro Women and the 2011 Gwen Reese Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by The Gathering of Women, Inc. for inspiring, mentoring, and empowering others. The legacy Winnie Foster continues to create should be an inspiration to all. Her parting words to young leaders “Study your history and learn the lessons of the people whose shoulders you stand on. Not everyone can do everything. Learn what you are meant to do and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” presidential edition | 77

The Pastor’s Pen

The Reverend Dr. Manuel Sykes is President of the St. Petersburg NAACP and Senior Pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church in St. Petersburg.

What is the President’s role on the issue of same-sex marriage?


ou’ve probably seen all the recent news circulating about African American pastors – and some of their parishioners – choosing to stay home on election day, rather than vote for the president who sided with same-sex marriage. Whether or not the trend is real – or, as some suspect, it’s nothing more than conservative theatrics – black voters do show a history of choosing candidates based on scriptural beliefs. In the 2004 presidential race, exit polls clearly show minority Christians defecting to vote for George Bush, largely because John Kerry was (or was painted as being) out of line with their Biblical beliefs. Here’s what one leading local Pastor has to say about the matter.

By Rev. Dr. Manuel Sykes First the president is duty-bound to serve all of the people and to use his executive powers to uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans. This means to uphold the amendments that protect persons regardless of color, creed, gender, or sexual preference. Secondly, the president is not the Pope. He should not be looked to as the moral conscience of the nation. That is the role of the church and the pastors, whose teaching and exposition of the sacred writings of their faith, convince its adherents to practice the moral and ethical tenets they uphold. Thirdly, the church is the prophetic voice, not the president. And when pastors, especially black pastors line up in opposition to the president over an issue which is not in his purview, it demonstrates their ultimate desire

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to be accepted by pseudo conservative interests and the illusion of being a true partner in the American compact. America’s first residents came to this country to escape religious persecution and monarchical dictation. The removal of prayer from the schools was based upon our founders’ fundamental objection to the collusion of church and state. The notion of a Christian country was forever violated when its original residents were betrayed and eventually murdered by the very Puritans to whom they extended the hand of goodwill. This travesty was followed by the scourge of slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow laws, voter suppression and segregation. This carnage and inhumanity was often supplied with theological undergirding by the very Chrisitan church which now opposes a president over an issue that is not his to define, but to defend, as it relates to the Declaration’s recognition of our inalienable rights to “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” For Christians, any reasonable exposition of Matthew chapter 25: 3140 arrives with certainty at the criterion upon which God judges the nations:

The Coalition of African American Pastors staging a national press conference to protest President Obama’s position on same-sex marriage

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’…“…. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” There exists no reference to a church or a president grand standing on a single moral issue. Instead it echoes the essence of what the prophet Micah says in chapter 6:8, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Therefore, America possesses no moral high ground upon which to judge the actions of others. The religious community must take up this role with compassion and understanding, considering its own history, along with recognition that only God can judge righteously.

A Social Justice Profile

Calling on Churches Rev. Dr. W. James Favorite and Dr. Ann Fuller Favorite

to Speak Loud and Clear on HIV/AIDS By Tracy L. Darity

Every man needs a cause he is passionate about. For the Reverend Dr. W. James Favorite, Senior Pastor of Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa, that cause is HIV Awareness in the African American community. Dr. Favorite is Chairperson of the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Tampa Bay Chapter, a group committed to organizing community leaders to meet the HIV/ AIDS challenge head on.

in the church. Other programs under his watch include financial planning, foreclosure seminars, and job fairs like the one held recently at the church that landed many attendees back in the workplace. He explains that being a minister isn’t just about preaching on Sunday morning, but also learning about the needs of each individual, what they are experiencing and what the church can do to help.

Rev. Favorite’s top goal? To bring bay area ministers together to develop ways to remove the stigma of HIV/AIDS in the black community. According to him, “There is no solution of world problems without Christ at the center, and that includes HIV. It will require church involvement in order to conquer what is quickly becoming an epidemic in the African American community.”

As busy as he is in his role as a Pastor, Dr. Favorite’s HIV awareness ministry stays at the forefront of his work. Thirty years after the first AIDS diagnosis in America, the stigma of homosexuality and promiscuity remain prevalent in the black church, making Dr. Favorite’s mission that much harder. He believes the church must be in touch with not only its members but also the community as a whole, and must acknowledge that the disease is not going anywhere as long as the church is reluctant to talk about it.

Dr. Favorite, a graduate of Southern University and Virginia Seminary & College, was ordained in 1985. Ten years later he received a call from Beulah Baptist to head their church. Beaulah’s leadership was seeking a new pastor, and learned of Dr. Favorite when a member visiting Baltimore heard him preach. She returned to Tampa, shared her experience, and the rest is history. When he arrived at Beulah, membership was around 100 parishioners. Today, he approximates that the congregation has grown to 700. Dr. Favorite attributes the growth to programs like “Pizza with the Pastor,” which engages the younger generation and lets them know they have a place

Beulah offers HIV testing and hosts several awareness events each year. So far, of the 100 or so people tested over the past year, three were HIV positive. “The results could be greater if more people were being tested,” says Dr. Favorite. October is “Compassion Month” and Dr. Favorite is busy getting the word out on an initiative by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, called Octoberfest. On the fourth Sunday of October, pastors across the country are asked to preach a message of compassion for those “affected and infected” by the disease. His church will host its next

awareness event the Saturday before (October 27th) and he’s encouraging other churches to host similar informational and testing events. In addition to his work on HIV/AIDS, Dr. Favorite is working with the NAACP and a group called Pastors on Patrol, to educate the community about how the state legislature’s policy-making is having a negative impact on those in the community with the greatest needs. We all know the adage, behind every good man there is a good woman; for Dr. Favorite she is Dr. Ann Fuller Favorite. The couple has been married for 47 years and has two adult children, Rodney and Andrea; and one grandson.

Get involved & connect to Pastor Favorite’s Work: Pastors on Patrol 1006 W Cypress Street Tampa, FL 33606-1109 (813) 784-1021 Black Leadership Commission on AIDS – Tampa Bay 1006 W Cypress Street Tampa, FL  33606-1109 (813) 784-1021

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Your Internet Portal for all Things

Gospel – right here in Tampa Bay By Tracy L. Darity

Pastor Charles Davis, Carl Burgess, CVIB President & William Saunders, CVIB Partner


ideo-on-Demand and webcasts are the new wave in technology for those with a message to share with the masses. We recently caught-up with Carl Burgess, President & Founder of Clear Video Internet Broadcasting (CVIB, pronounced C-vibe), headquartered in Tampa. Carl shared with us his vision for a Tampa Bay internet portal that will be a hub for ministers, musicians, and others with a faith-based message. Carl worked in the telecommunications industry for 16 years and retired seven years ago. He began collaborations with technology firms as far away as China to devise an internet security monitoring service. But when he began to take note of the success of streaming providers like YouTube, he knew it was something he wanted to try. Carl decided to shift gears. His next step was to build a team of energetic people who could see his vision and help bring it to fruition. The end result, CVIB, is a 24-hour streaming service for live, on-demand, and prerecorded broadcasts. With business associate William Saunders, CVIB has anchored

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CVIB’s Ryan Hortan interviews local Pastor

itself as an innovator in the region. Ministers and other notable leaders such as Rev. Willie Dixon, Dr. Thomas Taylor, Superintendent Charles Davis and Rev. Bartholomew Banks, are using CVIB to take their messages global. Recently, Open Café, a soul food eatery in Tampa, played host to a live taping for three shows hosted by leaders who’ve made their home on the CVIB portal. Prison Gates, the Dr. T. Show, and Pastors Corner, lead the list of diverse programming offered on the network. In addition, visitors to the site can watch music videos via a relationship with Malaco Records; as well as check-out interviews of gospel celebrities who’ve visited the bay area, like Kim Burrell and Tye Tribbett. When asked if Tampa Bay was ready for a web-based channel, both Burgess and Saunders replied a resounding “Yes!” The loss of WTMP, the area’s only R&B radio station, left a void for community-based programming. CVIB wants to fill that void by giving churches, outreach ministries, political & community activists, and others, a platform to take their shows to another level. Unlike

radio, which is only audible, and cable stations that only air locally, web streaming can be seen worldwide, giving hosts the potential to reach a larger audience, and possibly be seen by network broadcasters. The team is also making it easy for show hosts who don’t have their own media & production capabilities. CVIB’s Tampa office is equipped for on-site taping. The company is off to a great start and looking to grow its program line-up. Burgess sees the I-4 corridor as a strategic media market. The team has already landed two shows in Orlando. In early 2013, CVIB will add music programs featuring contemporary, hip-hop, and neosoul gospel. Soon to come, says Saunders, is programming in the areas of sports, health, finance, and political education. Both men say they’re open to hearing new ideas. Ultimately, says Burgess, “It’s our goal to grow CVIB into a multi-media business that will provide jobs and be seen as a beacon in the community.” If you have a show idea or want to learn more about CVIB, visit

It’s Time to Rise-up St. Pete!

“Photo by Tampa Bay Times: Pastor Walter Draughon speaking on the need for healing at the officers of slain police officers in 2011; Mayor Bill Foster and Chief of Police Chuck Harmon visible in the background.”


hortly after arriving in St. Petersburg from Little Rock, Arkansas, Reverend Walter Draughon, III, the new leader at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, received a dose of the deep-rooted racial tensions that have kept the city divided for ages. It was a fall evening in 1996 and a violent disturbance erupted in response to the shooting death of 18 year-old Tyron Lewis. Draughon, who hails from Graceville, Florida, is no stranger to racial strife, his immediate thought was to go to the area and see what he could do to help quell the situation. Police officers stopped him in his tracks, suggesting he, a white man, would not be safe. It was then that he began to think of ways to bridge the gap between the black and white citizens of St. Petersburg. His first idea was to bring churches of all denominations together. In 1999, at the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg, two thousand people, mostly from his congregation and that of Mt. Zion Progressive, gathered together for a unity service. Draughon recalls when he and Reverend Louis M. Murphy, Sr., Mt. Zion’s Senior Pastor, took the stage, the two churches were as divided in the audience as they were in their

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One Pastor’s passion for racial resolve drives a new ministry, mission -by Tracy L. Darity

locations within the city. “We told them we were going to turn around and when we turned back we wanted things mixed up.” The crowd began to move and a lasting relationship between the two churches was formed. Early 2011 left the city on edge after three St. Petersburg Police Officers were killed in the line of duty. Many people focused on the fact that in both instances the gunmen were black males. Draughon saw a bigger issue, particularly in the shooting of Officer David Crawford who died at the hands of a 16 yearold. After hosting the funerals for the fallen officers, Draughon was re-energized and eager to get to work on a program that would bring all races together; one that would motivate mid-county residents to interact with south county residents. He likens the fire burning within him, to that of the biblical story of Moses and the burning bush. “I felt like I’d been to the bush and it’s talking lit a fire in me.” Draughon met with members of his congregation and Rise-up St. Pete! was born. The objective of the organization was initially to mobilize his congregation to have a positive impact on communities within the Tampa Bay area. The goals were ambitious, and would embark on a social movement unlike any ever seen in the city.

Although the group had a plan on paper they would soon realize that to bring a divided community together, it would take the community to get involved. “We needed to do it together,” Draughon states as he speaks on how Rise Up went from being a First Baptist initiative to one that would encompass the help of ministers and congregations south of Central Avenue. “It was never meant for us to do it alone,” he adds. Today the objective of Rise-up St. Pete! is to “mobilize churches and other interested organizations or persons for engagement of large ‘challenges’...” The organization believes that through crosscultural relationships they will do great things. Two principles Draughon sees as the driving force in achieving his central goals is building relationships, and maintaining them. According to him, “People become more vested in a project when they know the stories of the people they are working with.” To work on a RiseUp St. Pete!, members are required to meet at least twice a month— once for strategic planning, and the second, to share a meal and get to know one another. Although planning is still in progress, Draughon’s teams are busy building relationships with community and city leaders, schools, and faith-based

organizations. Tremendous progress on their blueprint speaks to not only the Biblical aspects of people working together for a common good, but it also has definitive strategies and partnerships that keep the fire in Draughon ablaze. Soon residents will begin to experience the product of this Great Commission. Six action plans are in place that include: Communication & Publicity, Neighborhood Clean-up, Youth Education, Community Gardening, Youth Mentoring, and Family Relations. Every action plan has two types of teams: leadership and multiple action groups. Rise-up St. Pete! will be responsible for training, coordinating, and supporting teams with their targeted activities. When asked what these teams will offer that hasn’t already been tried, Draughon was quick to respond, “We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel.” Instead, the uniqueness of Rise-up St. Pete! is that we want to become a central resource for programs that are already functioning, as well as partnering with organizations who may have an activity but need volunteers to come in and lend assistance. One thing Draughon makes crystal clear is that the goal is to match efforts already in action. One current item on the agenda is a partnership with Sustained Urban Agriculture Coalition, a group committed to bringing community gardens to areas in and around the Midtown area. Draughon summed up that his organization will know its impact only after its missions are compete. He shares a story about a woman in her 80’s raising four young children in low-income housing. As he’s talking to her he notices multiple locks on a hollow door, her source of security. He arranged for volunteers to buy a new door and have it installed. The woman was extremely grateful because

someone took the time to ask her what she needed, and made sure she received it without a lot of red tape. That’s what Rise-up St. Pete! will be about…seeing a need, getting the right people on it, and providing results. presidential edition | 00

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Credible Candidate

or Carpetbagger? by Shari Hazlett In this season of political noise, first-time candidate Jessica Ehrlich barreled out of the gate in late February with a barely dried Washington, D.C. stamp of approval. Her campaign came to Pinellas county complete with outof-state staff and a campaign organization, backing from prochoice EMILY’s List and other prominent women’s groups, and support from both the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). House Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer, even made a stop in Pinellas County to appear at a campaign event with Ehrlich. At the time, many wondered whether Democrats had finally recruited a serious challenger to 42-year incumbent, Rep. Bill Young. Ehrlich quickly captured the attention of local Democrats who were curious about this new face in Pinellas County politics. Former Florida State House Rep. Janet Long, and now current candidate for Pinellas County Commission, made several appearances at political events with Ehrlich, while local Democratic activists suddenly began receiving email updates from the Ehrlich campaign before they even knew she was a candidate. Jessica Ehrlich’s first quarter finance report seemed promising, with nearly $88,000 in contributions from mostly out-of-state donors and a $15,000 loan to the campaign from Ehrlich herself. Ehrlich’s second quarter report held even more promise for local Democrats: she raised more than her Republican opponent. It was a ready-made campaign for a candidate with whom nobody involved in local 86 | presidential edition

politics was familiar. It was a campaign with pre-approval from Washington, D.C. and party insiders. But, who exactly is Jessica Ehrlich and why is she challenging a 42-year incumbent in a bid for U.S. Congress? Jessica Ehrlich is a St. Petersburg native and the only child of Charles Ehrlich, a prominent local attorney with an outstanding record of service to the community, including his work as a founder of Academy Prep. She’s a graduate of both Vanderbilt University and Southern Methodist University College of Law. She most recently worked in Manhattan for Bloomberg Corporation. Ehrlich has credited living in Manhattan during September 11, 2001, as the reason for her interest in public service. Yet, in the past 11 years, Ehrlich has only worked in public service positions for two and half years: in 2006, for six months, Ehrlich worked for U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw (R- FL) in Washington, D.C. and then worked for U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) as a legislative aid for two years after that. Her campaign materials list her only community service activities as serving on the board of the U.N. Women’s Fund from 1999-2000, and as a member of the New York Junior League for an unspecified time period. A recent Tampa Bay Times article charged Ehrlich with embellishing her resume. The first question was whether she overstated the significance of her work for two separate members of Congress. The second question was whether Ehrlich clerked or interned

for a federal court judge. Local lawyers have affirmed the clear distinction between a highly competitive clerkship and a voluntary internship. A local blogger asserts that Ehrlich’s campaign website was changed from “clerk” to “intern” after her credentials were questioned. Ehrlich thinks the charge is “….just ridiculous…but these attacks show that we are presenting a real challenge to Bill Young and they are concerned.” In 2010, local favorite and former Florida State Senator Charlie Justice lost his bid to unseat Rep. Young. After raising money at a steady pace, Justice increasingly appeared to be the candidate who was going to defeat Bill Young. Justice, a seasoned candidate and political leader, raised just over $300,000 for his race to unseat Bill Young, but did it without help or encouragement from the Democratic establishment or the DCCC. Election results from 2010 show that Justice captured 71,291 total votes, even though Democrats cast 76,615 ballots. Bill Young most likely won the race by appealing to a small portion of Democrats, almost all of the voting Republicans, and nearly all of the non-party affiliated voters. Election results for Young’s previous challengers have been almost identical. Records show- with one exception- that Bill Young has captured more than 60% of the vote in each of his bids for re-election to the U.S. Congress. Ehrlich has appeared comfortable with her recent place in the political spotlight.

At public appearances, she is conversational in the language of her liberal base and moderates her tone with appeals to middle class values. Ehrlich peppers her speech with nods to the lagging economy and makes references to the need for job creation. Despite the questions about credentials and a minimal record of community service, some see Ehrlich’s relatively recent appearance on the political scene as an attribute in the bid to unseat Young. Mark Hanisee, Chair of the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee, said that “Jessica Ehrlich has been endorsed by most of the unions, and is the best candidate we’ve had in a long time.” Reverend Manuel Sykes personally believes that Ehrlich is a solid alternative to Rep. Bill Young, though he can’t endorse her in his official capacity as President of the local NAACP. “After coasting through elections for 42 years, Young has had to do something he has not done in decades- run defensive and misleading TV ads attempting to confuse voters about his votes to end Medicare’s guaranteed benefits. With her background in business, as an attorney and former congressional counsel and staffer, Ehrlich brings the experience and values of growing up in St. Petersburg we need. After 42 years in Congress, Bill Young has lost touch and Pinellas deserves a fresh approach,” said Sykes. Ehrlich, who describes her base as “democrats and moderate voters who are ready for a change,” has run a laser-focused campaign against her opponent’s length of time in office and his voting record in Congress. Young opposed and voted against a bill in early 2012 that would allow drilling as close as 9 miles off the coast of Florida. However, Young has also voted against revitalizing severely distressed public housing, expanding services for offender re-entry into society, and providing an additional $70 million for Section 8 housing vouchers. Rep. Bill Young, who did not respond to calls or requests for interviews, has served as a U.S. Congressman since 1971 and is currently the longest serving member of Congress. Notably, Young served as the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee from 1999-2000, and is lauded by Republicans and Democrats alike for bringing back hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for the Tampa Bay area. In just 10 months, Jessica Ehrlich has gone from an unknown, former St. Petersburg resident to a candidate for federal office. It remains to be seen whether this relative newcomer with considerable support from Washington, D.C., can pull off a victory in this challenging local race.

Showdown Who will be the next

Pinellas County Sheriff?

Sheriff Gualtieri the Republican incumbent, honoring Adrian Arnold for his promotion to rank of Captain, making him the first African American to lead a command in Pinellas County. Arnold is accompanied by his daughters, Alyssa and Alexis.

by Shari R. Hazlett


or over a year, Democrats watched on the sidelines as this hotly contested Republican primary election provided every bit of the spectacle voters have come to expect from Pinellas county politics: unprecedented fundraising, over-the-top negative campaigning, and a Sheriff’s department suffering from divided loyalties. And now that the circus is over, this general election only asks voters - of all parties- to either affirm the outcome of the Primary or support a relatively unknown candidate who presents himself as a clear contrast, in both policy and administration, to his incumbent opponent.

appointment, and has been endorsed by the local Police Benevolent Association (PBA).

In November 2011, Governor Scott appointed Bob Gualtieri to finish the final year of Sheriff Jim Coates’ term in office. Nine months later, interim Sheriff Gualtieri went on to defeat his opponent, the former Sheriff Everett Rice, by winning close to 58% of the vote in the August primary election. Before Gualtieri took office in November 2011, the Sheriff’s department had been forced to respond with their own reductions to countywide budget shortfalls, which has resulted in the consolidation of some Sheriff’s department sections and the absorption of specialized units. Gualtieri entered office with even more tough budget decisions to make.

I formed a Diversity Council within the Sheriff’s office to help recruit and promote minorities. Most recently, we promoted a black Deputy to the rank of Captain, which marks the first time that an African American is in charge of a command in the County.

A Power Broker Interview with Sheriff Gualtieri: Gualtieri, a graduate of both Eckerd College and Stetson University College of Law, has over 20 years of service to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s department. Gualtieri previously served as Chief Deputy and General Counsel before his

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Q: Tell us about your focus on diversity? What changes are needed? How will you ensure that they happen? Gualtieri: We must reflect the community we serve. We didn’t hire for five years because of the economic downturn, and it didn’t allow us to sustain staff diversity. We had a lot of minorities retire, particularly African Americans. We started hiring again the last few months and we’re regaining the diversity we lost.

For the first time in 25 years, we sponsored a Law Enforcement Academy in which 15 new Deputy recruits were hired and then paid to attend. Typically, recruits themselves pay to attend the academy and are unable to work during training. Now we are able to recruit people from economically diverse backgrounds. Q: Which of your programs and priorities will make a difference in crimes that disproportionately impact African Americans? Gualtieri: It’s important that we prioritize and focus on issues that citizens want addressed. The Sheriff’s department works with the Police Athletic League, and our deputies mentor at-risk kids in

after-school programs to help them avoid criminal activity. We’ve developed the Juvenile Diversion program, which helps kids who’ve made a mistake avoid getting tagged with a criminal record that affects them for life, whether securing a job, applying for student loans, or enlisting in the military. My opponent has discussed our list of suspected and known gang members. I’ve assured people that our procedure follows the state law. I support a review of our procedures and narrowing the criteria for this list, but any changes will require full cooperation from all county law enforcement agencies. We do want community feedback on this. Q: What’s the biggest problem in the County for African Americans? i.e., in what crime categories do you see the biggest disproportionality? Gualtieri: The drug problem is hitting hard, especially in minority communities. Times are hard, the job market is affected, and people lean to criminal activities like the use and sale of drugs. I’ve committed to the Safe Harbor Program for the homeless, and we’ve reinstituted the ex-offender re-entry program with the Department of Corrections. This fall, there will be a new life skills and drug treatment program at the jail. These programs reduce recidivism, which keeps people out of the system. You don’t solve problems by simply locking people up. A Power Broker Interview with Challenger, Scott Swope: Scott Swope is a graduate of the University of South Florida and The University of Florida Levin College of

The Democratic challenger for the Sheriff’s seat, Scott Swope, answering a question about his vision, if elected to the post

Law. Swope served as a Sheriff’s deputy for six years before attending law school, after which he worked for the past 14 years as a full time lawyer in private practice. Although Swope has never run for office, he was recently endorsed by the FOP Lodge 43, an organization of current and retired Sheriff’s Department employees. Q: What’s the “upside” of this election for African Americans? How will they benefit from you being elected versus your opponent? Swope: My proposed policies and programs will have a clear impact on public safety in three areas. First, I would reinstate the fugitive section, which my opponent eliminated. Deputies are now required to do their normal duties plus serve arrest warrants. Second, I would reinstate the DUI Enforcement Squad. Although recently, Sheriff’s Deputies have recently been assigned to run DUI checkpoints, the DUI Enforcement Squad had the sole responsibility of stopping drunk drivers and at a lower cost to taxpayers. Third, I would reinstate a full-time detective position to the Clearwater Human Trafficking Task Force. My opponent removed this position from the Task Force. Q: Which of your policies, programs and priorities would make a difference in crimes and issues that disproportionately impact African Americans?

Swope: My opponent is focused on marijuana enforcement. In a recent marijuana investigation involving a hydroponic supply shop and the store’s customers, as documented in the Tampa Bay Times, there were numerous constitutional violations and procedural errors. I think my opponent believes the ends justify the means, even if it’s not appropriate. I believe that marijuana possession arrests are a new version of Jim Crow and that African Americans are being targeted. The arrest rates are disproportionate. African Americans are arrested in almost the same numbers for marijuana possession as whites. This tells me that the Sheriff’s Department needs to take a look at the African American arrest rate, and why it’s disproportionate. It’s difficult to get a driver’s license, student loans, or adopt a child when one has a drug charge on their record. It’s incumbent upon the Sheriff to examine whether it’s causing an adverse impact on the African American community. Q: What’s the biggest problem in the County for African Americans? i.e., in what crime categories or problems do you see the biggest disproportionality? Swope: My opponent keeps a “Gang List” which I believe casts too broad a net. Although some on this list are engaged in gang activity, many of them shouldn’t be included on this list. With this policy, the law is being misapplied- it’s implemented almost solely in the African American community.

Reprinted with the permission of the SAMHSA-CSAP Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiative

For Florida Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking, Most of the Audience Stayed Home


hat if you invited a quarter of a million people to attend your underage drinking prevention Town Hall Meeting and even a small percentage agreed to attend? Where would you seat them? The answer is: on their own sofas and easy chairs, in the comfort of their own homes. A collaboration among the Florida-based LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County (LiveFree!), the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida, and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations WEDU-Tampa Bay and WGCU in Fort Myers provides an annual opportunity to invite a potential audience of 250,000 people in a 16-county area. Since 2005, WEDU has worked with LiveFree! and others to produce Florida Kids and Alcohol, a series of live, local Town Hall Meetings about underage drinking issues in Florida. WEDU has broadcast events from its Tampa Bay studio and from different high schools in Pinellas to build public support for prevention and law enforcement efforts to stop underage drinking. The 2012 Florida Kids and Alcohol Town Hall Meeting, which explored the connection between alcohol and drugs, made full use of local PBS resources as well as new social media and communications technology. On April 3, 2012, nearly 100 youth and adults gathered at Pinellas Park High in Largo, joined by 50 “Skyped” audience members from Fort Myers, and two panels of experts, for the taping of the Town Hall. 90 | presidential edition

WEDU quickly edited the taped footage, with input from the two coalitions. The result was a prime-time, 1-hour highdefinition special presentation that aired on April 19, 2012. WEDU rebroadcast the show on a Sunday morning and a Wednesday evening. It also aired the show on its digital channel on a Saturday and a Sunday evening. Multiple airing at different times made it possible for people to listen at their convenience. The broadcast was only one of WEDU’s contributions to public outreach: the station also produced a 25-minute webcast of added material from the program and posted it on its website, which also houses the archived 1-hour Town Hall Meeting. Sixtytwo pro bono promotional spots were aired during many of the station’s most popular programs, ranging from Nova to the PBS News Hour to The Lawrence Welk Show and This Old House. The Florida Kids and Alcohol series is one of the longest running Town Hall Meetings in the country and is proving very successful in terms of continuing community interest in underage drinking prevention. Key to the success of the series is the efforts of the community partners that make up LiveFree! According to Steven Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “More people watch television and get their information that way than read books.” Exploring opportunities to reach community members where they are—even if it’s on their couches at home—may be effective in sharing information on why and how they should be involved in underage drinking prevention.

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TheSocial Scene Onyx Ski Club gearing up for winter travel; you’re invited too Whether it’s France, Greece or some exotic destination in the Caribbean, the Onyx Ski and Sports Club of Tampa Bay is partying with a purpose; and as we roll into their prime-time season of winter travel, Club President Dr. Willie Felton says they’ll be raising funds once again to support young athletes. He also says “New members are welcome.” The Club is an authorized affiliate of the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS), Eastern Region, the largest not-for-profit organization of minority skiers and snowboarders in America. The NBS mission is to “identify, develop, and support athletes of color who will win international and Olympic winter sports competitions representing the United States.” To learn more about upcoming trips, reach Dr. George Banks, Trip leader Chairperson, at

Haiti. Worldwide, other Links chapters are backing the effort to help women and girls in Haiti who were affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake. Their contribution to the cause? The distribution of care packages and supplies, such as personal hygiene items that are still too difficult to find in the country. At The Links’ 38th National Assembly this summer in Orlando, 4,000 Link members assembled over 10,000 kits, each containing fundamentals, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, and washcloths, that are too often taken for granted. The timing of this latest shipment became critical, as the small island country was pummeled by Tropical Storm Isaac and the school suffered catastrophic damages. Links St. Petersburg president, Dr. Mendee Ligon, urges “Haiti still needs us. If you want to help and you’re here in Tampa Bay, visit www.MPCR. info for more details.” Local efforts for Haiti are being organized by Dr. Frederic Guerrier, among others.

Mocha Brown’s Coffee Lounge Takes Top Honor for Soul

The Links, Making a Difference in Haiti

In celebration of their respective 25th anniversaries, members of the St. Petersburg and Tampa Chapters of The Links partnered to pack over 500 Women’s Survival Kits for the Haitian Missionary Project at Le Petit Chaperon Rouge School in

Honored by Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay 2012” competition, Mocha Brown’s Coffee Lounge, located in Tampa, was the Critics Pick as “The Best Venue with Soul” this year. The award happened at the same time

as Mocha Brown’s hosted the 4th installment of the Urban Arts & Film Social Event series featuring the movie “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.” The series celebrates urban films that we know and love and offers “a unique social experience infused with spoken word, live music and entertainment, and food.” To connect to Mocha Brown’s visit: www.

Delta Youth as Servant Leaders for CareFest 2012 This marks the third year that the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy and Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS of the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority have participated in the annual CareFest by Somebody Cares Tampa Bay. Nearly 100 Delta participants – youth and adult – pitched in to help clean-up the streets of the Melrose/Mercy Neighborhood. A special surprise visit by Mayor Bill Foster highlighted the moment. The Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy is a unique program to help shape well-rounded young ladies, ages 11 to 14; while the Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS Institute represents the mission with young ladies ages 14 to 18.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority with their Soror, Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince

The Urban League Guild Recognized as Top Fundraiser Once again this year, the Pinellas County Urban League Guild was honored by the National Urban League with the Top Fundraiser award for the Southern Region. This summer’s award ceremony was hosted in New Orleans. The Guild took the same top honor in 2010.

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Polk County Reception welcomes Justice Quince as she tours in Tampa Bay This September, Polk County’s legal, business, and ministerial communities came out in numbers for a “Meet & Greet” with Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, who took the opportunity to urge attendees to get the facts about this year’s “merit retention elections,” and to vote “YES” to retain the justices and judges on the ballot. On hand as greeters for the event were Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields and Lakeland City Commissioner Phillip Walker. The soiree was hosted by Peterson and Myers, PA, co-hosted by the Virgil Hawkins Bar Association and the Blackmon Roberts Group, and catered by Chef Terri Lobb.

Left to right, Frankie Brown, National Urban League Guild President; Alvin Nesmith, Pinellas Urban League Board Member; Patricia Tankerson, Southern Region Coordinator;  Dr. Yvonne Williams, President of the Pinellas Urban League Guild; and Darryl Jasper, National Urban League Guild Treasurer.

The Black Public Administrators Host Another Sensational Conference. It was a full house early this October for the annual conference of the National Black Public Administrators Forum, held at the Innisbrook resort, and hosted by the Tampa Bay Chapter (Dr. Cynthia Johnson, President).

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Fabulously Fall.... 7 beauty tips to revitalize your look. Seasons are changing and color palettes are shifting. How can you keep up your “look” without breaking the bank? Here are some suggestions I offer to clients.


Brows: Let’s take it from the top, starting with our eyebrows. Like a picture frame, brows frame your face. If you aren’t getting your brows regularly shaped, this fall is the time to start. Pull out your calendar and schedule to have your brows done every few weeks depending on how fast they grow. Consult a professional for the best technique - razor, threading, or waxing – and make sure to tell your brow specialist what’s important to you. This season more natural brows are in, so take care not to over-arch! Cost $7-$17


Concealer: A good

concealer goes a long way; it brightens under your eyes, eliminates dark circles and makes you feel like a million bucks. Instead of using foundation for your everyday routine, try a little concealer under the eyes blended with a powder to take away the shine! Give it a whirl; you will be surprised at all of the triple looks you receive. Black Opal has concealer with great coverage! Cost $7.50-$25



Blush: Find

a true color blush palette for you. Release the bronze and browns for this season and go with a pink or deep rose depending on your skin tone. Don’t be afraid; this is not the days of your grandmother’s rouge. Please - no dramatic red streaks on those cheeks. Use a brush and gently apply to the apple of your cheeks or cheek line. A little color will change your entire look. I love Studio 277 Cosmetics Blush Floret or Stun with a shimmer over it. Cost $8.50-$27.50

Lip Gloss: It’s that time; I know

you don’t want to put the clear and nude gloss away; but its wine and berries for the fall. You don’t have to douse your lips with color. Just a hint will do to transition you into the fall. Glosses are easy to find, but if you want to try before you buy, visit your local department store or make up studio. Cost $5 - $22


Eye Kohl:

Yes Ladies, not eye pencil; eye kohl. What’s the difference? Kohl is like crayon, very soft so you can actually use a pencil brush to smudge it out and make it look like you have on eye shadow. That quick and easy. It’s a life saver! Try purple, green or grey for the season. MAC and Studio 277 Cosmetics Eye Kohls are divine. Cost $6.50-$15

-by Lena Graham


Facial: Groupon and

Living can help you find services that you may not have previously explored. Take the time to search out a facial deal. It doesn’t have to be expensive; just a basic cleansing and hydrating facial and perhaps a scrub or microdermabrasion. This will prepare your skin for cooler weather. Remember also ladies, an appropriate skin care regimen is key; use the facial as a catalyst and then continue cleansing and moisturizing daily! Cost $25-$75


Mascara –“Let go and turn loose.” If your mascara is older than 3 months, pitch it! A fresh new tube does wonders for the lashes and eyes. Mascara is a staple, keep one on hand and replace regularly. One of my favorite is MAC fibre rich mascara because it gives the illusion of false lashes. Maybelline colossal is a nifty buy as well, and can be layered heavy or light. If you want cheap and quick, pick up ELF for under a buck. Cost $1 – $25

Remember ladies, don’t be scared, its only make up, not plastic surgery. If you don’t like it, wipe it off! But guess what, you’ll never know if you don’t try.Until Next time, stay soulful and sophisticated. Learn more about Lena G by visiting www.; email your beauty questions to lena@powerbrokermagazine. com or call 1.800.385.3624 x201 to set up your own private beauty consult today.


LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR TOMORROW’S COMMUNITIES TODAY. Block Team USA, Inc., a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization, provides affordable transitional housing options and other services for ex-offenders, veterans and other challenged individuals in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. On any given day, at least 100,000 children in Florida have a parent in prison or jail. Block Team has begun the important work of taking a serious look at the lives of these children. After all, if we offer our services to his parent he has a greater chance of one day becoming our future President. Join the Block Team USA movement and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

focused solutions

can produce

• Food and clothing drives • Transitional Housing • Social Services • Ex-Offenders, Veterans, Etc • Job Placement • Community Service • Drug Awareness • Adopt An Inmate and commit to writing one letter per month.. • Donate a Hygiene • Pen Pal Services. The list goes on.... Volunteers Needed

Give back to your community. Please call 813.319.4519 or visit our websites / Email:


For discounts and free offers exclusively for Power Broker readers, become our friend or fan on facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Moonlight Masquerade Saturday, Oct 27, 2012 from 8PM Location: Dr. Carter G Woodson Museum, 240 9th Ave. So. in St. Pete Price: $35 Contact: St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, 727-755-1913 Join us for an evening of great music, fun, food and festivities. Mask required for admission.  Scavenger hunt in the gardens.  Prizes for best mask, costume and more.

Computer Mentors Group, Inc. 15 Year Anniversary Celebration

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 from 11 AM TO 2 PM Location: T-Pepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 North 50th St. in Tampa Price: $75 Phone: (813) 241-4200 or (813) 417-6132 | Reginald Roundtree, news anchor for 10 News (WTSP) will be the master of ceremony along with Veronica Blakely of V’s Voice Communications at the Computer Mentors Group, Inc. Keynote by District 3 Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller, another one of the many people instrumental in the organization’s success. Henry Ashwood, Jr., a renowned saxophonist, will provide the entertainment.  The theme of the event is “Stepping Forward.”

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purpose of advancing the aims of the Urban League Young Professionals! This is an event you will not want to miss!

Christian McBride Trio Friday, Nov 2, 2012 from 8:00PM to 11:00PM Location: The Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete Price: $29 & up Contact: For his Mack Avenue recording debut, the 36-year-old bassist / bandleader / educator / artistic director / Grammy Award winner Christian McBride delivered the remarkable Kind Of Brown, a 10-track album featuring his new acoustic jazz quintet Inside Straight, comprised of old friends, pianist Eric Reed, alto saxophonist Steve Wilson and drummer Carl Allen, as well as newcomer vibraphonist Warren Wolf, one of McBride’s former students. Red Lipstick Black Bowtie Affair Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 5PM to 10PM Location: The V Tampa Bay (2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater) Price: $35 general admission; $50 VIP Contact: Pinellas County Urban League Young Professionals | | Website: Old Hollywood will hit the red carpet for this chic fundraising event for the hottest young adults in Tampa Bay. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served, have your picture taken by the paparazzi on the red carpet as you enter the event, and dance the night away as we party with the


From: Thursday, Nov 8 to Sunday, Nov 25, 2012 (show times vary) Location: Tropicana Field in St. Pete Contact: kooza Witness the magic and acrobatic grace under the Big Top as performers tell the story of the human connection and the world of duality, good and bad. Tickets on sale now. “The Case of the Missing Church” Dinner Theatre Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 from 4PM to 8PM Location: 8722 Progress Blvd. in Tampa Contact: 813-677-1948 This religious comedy will tickle your funny bone, make you think, and minister to your spirit. Proceeds benefit the CL Sloan Scholarship.  Dinner & Theatre - $35 16+/$15 ages 5-15/under 5 free.  Theatre only - $20 16+/$5 ages 5-15/under 5 free. 5th Annual Chillounge Night Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 from 6PM to 11PM Location: N. Straub Park in St. Pete Contact: www.chillounge- Chill to the sounds of smooth jazz with fine wine and food, a  Brazilian Samba parade, the latest fashions, flamenco dancing and fireworks. 21 & over. Wiz Khalifa Tickets Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 from 7:30PM to 10PM Location: USF Sundome in Tampa Contact: www.sundomearena. com Ties & Tennis Shoes Friday, Dec 7, 2012 from 6PM to 10PM Location: Tropicana Field in St. Pete Contact: Join us at Tropicana Field in your favorite cocktail attire, but plan to complete your look with sneakers. This whimsical experience will feature interactive sporting stations hosted by celebrities and professional athletes. Attendees will also rock out with the founder of Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin, as his band performs the music of the 60’s, 70’s, and today.  In addition to rubbing elbows with sports and media celebrities, eating, drinking and laughing it up, you can take part in our tennis shoe decorating contest or bid on exciting packages at our silent auction. Sister Act From: Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 to Sunday, Dec 16 (show times vary) Location: The Straz Center in Tampa Price: $46.50 & up Contact:

SISTER ACT is Broadway’s feelamazing musical comedy smash! The New York Post calls it “RIDICULOUSLY FUN,” and audiences are jumping to their feet in total agreement! 13th Annual Black Heritage Festival From: Thursday, Jan 17 to Jan 26, 2013 Price: Free Contact: 1-888-274-1733 | Time Management Mindset: From Scarcity to Abundance Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 from 11AM to 1PM Location: TBD Price: $35.00 Contact: focuswithlinda. com | Linda Henderson | phone: 813-445-3973 | | www.focuswithlinda. com The first in many sessions in the Tampa Bay area focuswithlinda. com presents Time Management Mindset from Scarcity to Abundance. This Time Management course teaches students the fundamentals of time management, and how to move from a scarcity mindset to abundance mindset in time managmentment.

Bill Cosby Live

Saturday, March 23, 2013 (2 shows, 5 and 8 PM) Location: Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Rd., Clearwater Contact: Queen Latifah Tuesday, March 26, 2013 from 7:30PM to 10PM Location: Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Rd., Clearwater

CONNECT TO US: LIKE US AT: FOLLOW UP: SIGN UP FOR OUR E-ZINE: LET US PROMOTE YOUR EVENTS: For help from the Power Broker to promote your events, call Kimberley Webb, the Power Broker DIGITAL media manager, at 727-565-5387 or e-mail her at

Change the Story.

He’s 15. He likes to hang out with his friends. He wants to buy a car. And he’s at risk of dropping out.

No one read to Anthony when he was small. Children who are read to are more likely to become good readers. And good readers are more likely to graduate from high school. High school graduates earn more, make better choices, use fewer social services and stay out of trouble. They become better, more reliable employees. United Way Suncoast encourages you to read to a child. Become a ReadingPal. Change the story for young people like Anthony.

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Presidential Edition by Power Broker magazine  

The Presidential Election Voter Guide 2012 by the Power Broker magazine offers full details on the candidates in Florida’s Hillsborough and...

Presidential Edition by Power Broker magazine  

The Presidential Election Voter Guide 2012 by the Power Broker magazine offers full details on the candidates in Florida’s Hillsborough and...