Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I like Kathleen Ford.

I’ll just admit it I like Kathleen Ford. Smart, sharp on point. I liked her when she was on City Council, I liked her when she ran for Mayor the first time and I really liked her when she ran for Mayor in 2009. I think without the HNIC comments things might have worked out differently. Kathleen could use a handler.
Anyhow, that’s all water under the bridge. Just the hint of a Ford candidacy for City Council or Mayor will send shivers down what little spine Mayor Bill has. Council has become a social club, conducting business in the room below Council chambers mostly out of public view. Think about it. When was the last time you saw some really tough questioning of staff or some special interest group on TV? Been a while hasn’t it.

Like her or hate her, if Ford was Mayor Stu and his crowd would not be pressuring the City for anything. They would be ducking for cover. There might be a few less senior staff members, but the organization would have a direction and leadership. I doubt the City would be closing libraries or ignoring organizations like CONA, and you would know what’s going on. Kathleen would make sure of it.

Note to Kathleen: Time to heat up the old website.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Emerging New Face of the GLBT Community

St. Pete Pride was fun, exciting, colorful and different. I have been at every St. Pete Pride event and have watched the event and the GLBT community grdaually morph into a new exciting and vibrant social movement. It seems to me that the Pride event has become more about who the GLBT community is than what they are. The GLBT community spans the entire spectrum from blue collar worker to corporate executive and all seemed to be represented.

The crowd was younger, more conservative in dress and attitude and seemed genuinely interested in the attention being shown by the political candidates and the many big name business and industries represented in the parade. What was even more impressive was the friedliness of the crowd and the many groups of people talking where subjects ranged from politics to where to go for lunch.

St. Petersburg should be proud of Pride. I am. It is an event that represents diversity and tolerance, while being a showcase for the dynamic changes in the GLBT community. If you can wipe the stereotype from your eye and take a fresh look you’ll be surprised at what you see.

Friday, July 2, 2010

An Opportunity for the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce

The departure of John Long as Chamber Chairman comes at an opportune time and presents the Chamber with an opportunity to become more affective in the community at large. John Long may have met his goals but I’ll bet there are a lot of small downtown businesses and City wide residents that think the goals weren’t on target in the first place. A large well heeled membership with their own special interests at heart doesn’t really serve the community at large. About the only time I saw John Long was when was at City Council pushing for something to benefit downtown. Seems like the Chamber’s interest stops somewhere just east of 16th Street.

Let’s hope the more community minded members of the Chamber get out the binoculars and look west. I have a suggestion for Chairman, how about Jeff Knight. Now there’s a guy with some vision.