U.S. Rep. Castor represents Florida's 14th District, which includes parts of both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Castor was first elected to Congress in 2006. Before that, she served on the Hillsborough County Commission and chaired the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. She is the author of the Florida Coastal Protection Act to make the drilling ban for waters up to 235 miles off Florida's west coast permanent. In 2013, the Center for Democracy in the Americas presented her with the Courage in Congress Award for her work in changing U.S. policy toward Cuba. Politics run in her family. She is the daughter of former Hillsborough County Judge Don Castor and former University of South Florida president and statewide-elected Education Commissioner Betty Castor.
What's on your nightstand?
My nightstand is packed. I'm currently reading They Dared to Dream: Florida Women Who Shaped History by Doris Weatherford. Doris goes back far in history, and the book definitely points out that females don't get the credit they deserve. She is very detailed.
By chance is there a woman named Betty in there?
Yes. Betty Castor, as a matter of fact. . . . I didn't know she was in there until Doris gave me a copy. It's interesting how (her story) fits right into Doris' historical accounting. My mother started out as a teacher and eventually became the first statewide-elected Cabinet member as education commissioner.
When it comes to residents here in Tampa Bay, what books would you recommend?
Actually, there's one I just finished: A Place We Knew Well by Susan Carol McCarthy. It's about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it does have references to Tampa and Orlando and MacDill Air Force Base. It's interesting to reflect on what it was like during that time. Even though people are anxious today (concerning terrorism), boy, to imagine what it was like back then as far as fear. It gives me some comfort that we are not living under that cloud now.
Contact Piper Castillo at email@example.com. Follow @Florida_PBJC.