Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Castor tells NOW convention she's following others' footsteps

About 150 women from the National Organization for Women conference, including Kim Waldrep, Marian Bradley, Deborah Decker, Connie Gilbert, Danielle Troia and LaToya Reynolds, from left, protest outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Tampa.

BRYAN THOMAS | Times

About 150 women from the National Organization for Women conference, including Kim Waldrep, Marian Bradley, Deborah Decker, Connie Gilbert, Danielle Troia and LaToya Reynolds, from left, protest outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Tampa.

TAMPA — When her tenure as the city's top police officer ends, Jane Castor says she hopes citizens remember her simply as a good chief.

But she knows that her legacy will be, at least in part, shaped by this fact: She's Tampa's first female police chief.

If a man in her position were to fail, she said, the failure would be his own.

"If I fail in this position the response is going to be, 'I told you a woman couldn't do it,' " Castor said Friday afternoon in a brief speech at the National Organization for Women's convention held at Embassy Suites near University of South Florida.

Castor, 51, says she feels the weight of the responsibility to be a good role model for girls. At the same time, though, she said the citizens have given her a certain freedom because they don't make an issue of her gender or her sexuality.

"The citizens don't care that I'm a woman, and frankly they don't care I'm a lesbian," said Castor, the mother of two children. "They want their city to be safe."

She also said she didn't consider herself a trailblazer because a number of female politicians, including former Mayors Sandy Freedman and Pam Iorio, had paved the way. "I've seen women make history all my life," she said.

Castor got a standing ovation at the convention, the first national meeting that NOW has put on in Tampa. The event, which organizers expect to attract 600 people, runs through today.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner also spoke at the meeting. He received a standing ovation after being introduced as the county's first openly gay commissioner.

"There's not too many places in Hills­borough County where they announce you're openly gay and everybody stands up and cheers," he quipped.

Several hours before Castor and Beckner spoke, about 150 of the NOW participants rallied on the sidewalk near Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's district office, which is across the street from the hotel.

Their chants included: "Hey, hey, ho ho, Marco Rubio has got to go" and "Pro-life men have got to go. If you get pregnant, let us know."

The crowd of nearly all women, some of whom wore "I am a shameless agitator" buttons and "This is what a feminist looks like" T-shirts, said they were protesting restrictions on abortions and health care cuts that disproportionately hurt women.

"We are invigorated," said Mary Nation, an 86-year-old retired social worker from Vero Beach. "I think we'd probably gotten very comfortable and didn't realize this was an ongoing battle."

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3374.

Castor tells NOW convention she's following others' footsteps 06/24/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that ‘both sides” bore blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.