Friday, October 13, 2017

St. Petersburg Mayoral Campaign - The Baker Blueprint for Jobs and Economic Development – Midtown

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

St. Petersburg Mayoral Campaign -  The Baker Blueprint for Jobs and Economic Development – Midtown

Any successful city must have great jobs and a vibrant economy

This is the sixth of an eight-part series detailing the Rick Baker Blueprint for St. Petersburg.

For more than eight years as Mayor, Rick Baker worked to transform St. Petersburg into a modern, prosperous, safe, neighborhood- friendly and seamless city. From jobs and economic empowerment, to schools, neighborhoods, the arts, our environment, and public safety, this “blueprint” will guide Rick Baker’s efforts to restore competence, commitment and honesty to City Hall.

Any successful city must have great jobs and a vibrant economy so all residents can earn the type of living that provides the greatest opportunity for themselves and their children. That is why I want St Pete to once again become a dynamic leader on this front, leaving no one behind.

The keys to the Midtown development effort are, first, expansion of resources and assets in the community and, second, expansion of opportunities for those in the community.
  • OUTREACH: When I say I am ALL IN for St. Petersburg I mean all in for every area. We will be seeking input from the citizens of Midtown and Childs Park, through a series of community gatherings, asking them as I always have for suggestions on development in their community. The ultimate plan will reflect this input. We have had remarkable success in the past, and we will again.
  • RESOURCES/ASSETS: Issues and ideas I have heard while campaigning:
  • Urgently work to replace the assets lost by the current mayor – a new grocery store, and replacements for Walgreen’s and Sylvia’s. To see residents waiting in line at a convenience market after Hurricane Irma because there was no other grocery option was heartbreaking, and must stop. Reject plans that gentrify the community such as the current mayor’s plan to put a BMW dealership on the historic Sno-Peak site and a Cuban restaurant at the Manhattan Casino.
  • Needed activities for youth beginning with exploring the idea of a roller skating rink for youth.
  • Ensure Midtown CRA funds are used for improvements that benefit the people of Midtown – reject efforts to use them for inappropriate purposes – such as the current mayor’s efforts to divert Midtown CRA money to his political party. On this front I will be adamant.
  • During our administration we brought in a SweetBay grocery store; post office retail center; Dell Holmes Park; Royal Theater redevelopment; GTE Federal Credit Union; Enoch Davis Center upgrades; Mercy Hospital Clinic; Davis-Bradley Drug Rehabilitation Center; Childs Park Swimming Pool, YMCA and football fields; Manhattan Casino rebuild and others. Four years from now, you will know that we were just warming up!
  • Expand the college scholarships and school programs described in the Education section above.
  • Add an apprenticeship program in order to give potential job holders the skills they need to obtain and hold jobs, also as described in the Education section.
  • Expand the SPC presence on 22nd Street South to provide more opportunities and a greater campus experience.
  • During my term we brought SPC, Job Corps and Jordan School Head Start to Midtown. We will build from there!
The “blueprint” by design is a living document that will evolve with further input from you, the people of St Petersburg, to enhance the quality of life for everyone living here. - Rick Baker

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Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

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