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Voting on St. Petersburg’s future | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Aerial photo of homes in the St. Petersburg neighborhood of Shore Acres on Oct. 12, 2021.
Aerial photo of homes in the St. Petersburg neighborhood of Shore Acres on Oct. 12, 2021. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Oct. 21

A vote for St. Pete’s community

St. Petersburg elections

When I think of the future of St. Petersburg, I am invested in our sense of community focused on the progressive values and culture we hold dearly. However, I have been increasingly worried about the impacts sea-level rise and climate change will have on our beautiful city in the next 20 years or so. If we look around today, we can see how the changes in the environment are already posing a threat. For me, climate change will be a guiding light in how I vote in our 2021 general elections this November.

The city’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) has reasonable climate action goals for us as a local community. It allows us to focus on the importance of resiliency, centralizing climate social justice efforts to include race, and even a transitional plan to move us to 100% clean energy. This plan is only the beginning, and there’s a lot more work that needs to be done to ensure the St. Petersburg community continues to flourish. We need implementation, education and community dialogue about the impacts of climate change.

When I am at the ballot box this fall, I will review the plans and solutions the candidates present to tackle climate change and its rippling effects. We need politicians that understand the urgency and intersectionality of climate change and social justice, living wages, and infrastructure. To me, these are some of the priorities St. Petersburg candidates need to prioritize.

We need to upgrade our sewer system to prevent pollution of our bay. Our water bill system needs to be more equitable so that everyone can afford access to water. And lastly, we need a more significant investment in our ISAP to ensure the city is protecting working-class people’s homes and housing and not just the high rises. I plan to vote for those who will make the environment a top priority for our community.

Ashley Green, St. Petersburg

A mid-season loss

The Tampa Bay Rays loss hurts. Losing the Rays would hurt a lot more | Editorial, Oct. 13

Your editorial suggested that the pain of the Tampa Bay Rays’ early exit from the playoffs is insignificant relative to the prospective loss of the franchise from the area. Just think, under the absurd “split season” proposal, we could look forward to such a loss every year, just as the baseball season starts to get interesting. Whoopee!

Steve Allison, Tampa

Go talk to Colin

Invaluable lessons from Gen. Powell | Column, Oct. 20

What a great column by retired Adm. James Stavridis on Colin Powell. Much more accurate than the self-serving statement released by Donald Trump. Maybe someone should have told Trump to “go talk to Colin.” How different might those four years have been?

Carlos DeCisneros, Tampa

A scary development

Erasing a storm | Oct. 17

After reading the recent article about the Tarpon Springs Hurricane of 1921 and recognizing that storms have only gotten stronger and more destructive over the past 100 years, I am once again reminded of the absolute absurdity of building a large apartment complex in a flood-prone coastal high-hazard area, such as the one proposed along the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs. The Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners should heed the advice of their Planning and Zoning board and deny the development on this fragile land. It’s only a matter of time before the next storm arrives here.

Megan Colby, Dunedin

So much to discuss

State withheld death toll | Oct. 17

This top-of-page article provides this public relations professional/professor/ethics officer with more than enough talking points for the next decade of communication classes that I will teach at the University of Tampa and elsewhere. Since when does a state’s leadership, elected and otherwise, feel it has the “right” to hide the truth from trusting citizens? Granted the news relating to COVID-related deaths has been and continues to be a matter of concern for us all. But we also deserve to be told the truth when it comes to matters that affect us in so many ways as does COVID. My mantra in the classroom and elsewhere has always be “Tell the truth no matter how bad it may be. Why? Because I will find out one way or the other.” Apparently folks hiding in Tallahassee’s political and other offices haven’t figured this simple fact of life out. And now it’s boldly and thoroughly discussed on the front page of the Tampa Bay Times. Kudos to you!

Kirk Hazlett, Riverview