The UUSP, along with 50 + other faith communities across Pinellas County, participated in the FAST Nehemiah Action where elected officials were asked to commit publicly to make needed changes to Pinellas County’s stormwater systems, criminal justice systems and affordable housing solutions.
The Deputy Mayor of Clearwater, Kathleen Beckman, said she would introduce a measure to incentivize commercial development in Clearwater to install rain gardens which will mitigate pollution run off into the Bay, Gulf and estuaries by 95% and reduce the causes of Red Tide by 50%.
Two St. Petersburg City Councilpersons, Richie Floyd and John Mulhamad, agreed to move forward a plan for St Pete to decriminalize paperwork snafus and other low-level infractions which lead to drivers’ license suspensions and criminal arrests and then criminal records. Even a low-level criminal record such as this impact a person’s ability to hold a job, secure housing, and volunteer at their child’s school. St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, who has the authority to implement such a program was not in attendance.
The St. Petersburg Mayor Welch was noticeably absent from the event, disappointing the people who he represents. Although he says he is committed to affordable housing he has not aggreged to publicly respond to our ask to create 5,000 new affordable housing units for people who earn 80% or less of the Average Medium Income. He says he will reply in writing by April 9. We are waiting for his response.
UUSP had at least 49 people turnout for the action. UUSP members and friends expressed excitement at our progress and hope for the changes we need to create a just community for all.
The Tampa Bay Times covered the event. See article here: