Transit advocates to launch "Greenlight YES" campaign next week
Pinellas transit advocates have been wondering lately when the pro-referendum campaign will get going. In December, it was going to be January. And now that January is almost over, it’s going to be February.
With nine months to go before the question goes before voters, a date has officially be set. The campaign to convince voters to support a referendum that would increase the county's sales tax to pay for expanded bus service and light rail is scheduled to launch on Feb. 7.
Organized by Ronnie Duncan, chairman of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, or TBARTA, the campaign is going by the name "Greenlight YES." That’s a slight derivation from the name of the publicly funded education campaign, which was branded "Greenlight Pinellas," and is no surprise, since both campaigns are employing the same public relations firm – Tucker Hall – and the ballot language refers to the proposal as the Greenlight Pinellas plan.
According to an email invitation sent out on Wednesday, Greenlight YES is expected to launch next Friday morning at the Ulmerton Rd office of the Pinellas Realtors Organization, a group that’s been one of the biggest boosters of mass transit improvements in the region. Although Duncan has refused to discuss the campaign's organization and financing, former St. Petersburg City Councilman Jeff Danner has said he will be on the campaign's staff, working as a campaign manager.
Opponents of the referendum, a group called No Tax for Tracks, held their campaign kick-off last week. The proposal will go before voters in November of this year.