Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete City Council candidate Jim Jackson says he can bridge downtown and Midtown

St. Petersburg City Council District 6 candidate James Jackson. [LARA CERRI | Tampa Bay Times]

St. Petersburg City Council District 6 candidate James Jackson. [LARA CERRI | Tampa Bay Times]

ST. PETERSBURG — James "Jim" Jackson says he has knocked on more than a thousand doors in his campaign for the District 6 City Council seat.

"That's where you hear the issues," he told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Friday.

Jackson, 72, said he's learned what people care about. It's mostly about what's happening in their own neighborhoods relating to city services and petty crime.

He acknowledged that he has big shoes to fill if he's to follow Council member Karl Nurse, who is prevented from running again because of term limits. Of the eight candidates in the District 6 race, Jackson said he is one of three or four who are "really viable." He counts Gina Driscoll, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, as one and St. Petersburg NAACP branch president Maria Scruggs, as another.

Jackson said he is disappointed that Nurse, who he claimed recruited Driscoll to run, endorsed her for the seat.

"She's a sweet person, but she's a downtown person," he said.

Jackson, who ran for the Pinellas County School Board in 2012, said he's running because he's unhappy with the city's direction. At his age, he will not use the council seat as a stepping stone, he said.

District 6 covers the city's prosperous downtown and parts of Old Northeast, along with a portion of the mostly poor, African-American Midtown.

"I really think I can bridge the gap between Midtown and downtown," said Jackson, who lives downtown.

His platform includes tackling the education, the city's sewer system and affordable housing.

He said he supports city programs proposed to increase affordable housing and supports creative zoning to allow construction of more than one small home on traditional or nonconforming lots. He also supports a housing ordinance that would require 10 percent of the units in new construction with more than 10 units to be set aside for workforce housing.

"The best way to break multi-generational poverty is to get people into a home," he told the editorial board.

Jackson said "gentrification is creating a lot of angst south of the Trop," a reference to Midtown neighborhoods. He said investors are calling elderly residents daily asking to buy their homes.

Jackson spoke about another issue that has plagued Midtown. Earlier this year, the area lost its grocery store when a Walmart Neighborhood Market closed.

"I don't think that a big chain is even going to work in there," he said, adding that a new generation is emerging on 22nd Street S — the historic heart of the African-American community known as the Deuces — and is opening businesses along the stretch.

He wants to address failing schools by creating a separate school district south of Ulmerton Road. He also said he would like to see the Tampa Bay Rays remain in the city, but is eager to see the 85-acre Tropicana site transformed into a mixed-use project connected to southern neighborhoods.

As for the city's sewer problems, Jackson said that the current plan to repair the system is not working, as evidenced by the latest spill Wednesday night, after heavy rains.

"We're not working fast enough. We're not going in the right direction fast enough," he said. "If we get a real storm this summer or next summer, we're in trouble."

Jackson also was not reticent with other views. The pier project is "a boondoggle," he said. Of Mayor Rick Kriseman's chances for reelection, he predicted that the sewage problem "will do him in." As for fellow District 6 candidate Corey Givens, who has had problems with campaign funds, he said, "I don't know why he's still in the race."

Jackson has raise $8, 565 in campaign contributions so far.

Other candidates vying for the seat are Justin Bean, Eritha "Akile" Cainion, Robert Blackmon and James Scott. The Aug. 29 primary will determine the top two candidates to go on to the Nov. 7 general election.

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at wmoore@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes

St. Pete City Council candidate Jim Jackson says he can bridge downtown and Midtown 07/17/17 [Last modified: Friday, July 14, 2017 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.