Friday, April 13, 2007

Poverty in Our Midst: What Can We Do About It?

Room for the Spirit
A Satellite of the Franciscan Center in St. Petersburg

A community workshop:
Poverty in Our Midst, What Can We Do About It?

Presenter: Lounell Britt, MPA

When? Monday, April 16, 2007. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (with lunch)
Repeated from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (light snacks and desserts)
Where? Daytime: The James B. Sanderlin Family Services Center
2335 22nd Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712, Room 16
Evening: St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Hall
2101 22nd Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Cost? Love Offering Only
Door Prizes

Please reserve ahead so we can plan for food by:
Friday, April 13, 2007
Call: Room for the Spirit, 727-490-2650 (if no answer, leave message)
For more information : Maureen Connors at morconnors(at)aol(dot)com

About the workshop: “If I give to the poor, they call me saint; if I ask why there are poor, they call me a communist.” , Don Helder Camera, Brazilian Catholic Archbishop

Poverty here in St. Petersburg is a stark reality. Come gain a better understanding of the root causes of poverty and how to heal them. What can we do individually and collectively to alleviate it? The session includes prayer, presentation, as well as small and large group discussions.

About Room for the Spirit:
Room for the Spirit, a Satellite of the Franciscan Center, Tampa, Florida, is an urban spirituality center located in the 22nd Street development district in South St. Petersburg. Its mission is to provide opportunities for spiritual renewal and personal development for residents of St. Petersburg, Florida and the greater Tampa Bay Area. It also provides a space for people in the community to come aside and rest awhile and/or to talk with a spiritual companion.

About the presenter:
Lounell C. Britt, MPA has been Executive Director of the James B. Sanderlin Family Center since 1991. Mrs. Britt has held various administrative positions related to the County’s Children, Youth and Families programs. She serves on the Board of Directors of several prominent advisory and counseling organizations whose focus is on activities and programs that help make Pinellas County the desirable and worthy place to live that it is.
Directions to the James B. Sanderlin Family Services Center
and St. Joseph Parish Hall
From Tampa and Points North East: Take Interstate 275 South to 22nd Avenue South, Exit 19. At the end of the ramp turn left onto 22nd Avenue. Go .7 miles to 2335. Turn left into the driveway.
From Clearwater and Points North: Take US Highway 19 to 22nd Avenue South. Turn left unto 22nd Avenue South and go .8 miles to 2335. Turn left into the driveway.
From Bradenton and Points South: Take Interstate 75 North to Interstate 275 North. Take the 26th Avenue South exit, Exit 18. Take the ramp toward Gulfport (.1 mile). Turn slight right onto 26th Avenue South (.1 mile). Go to 31s Street South and turn left (.2 miles). Turn right at 22nd Avenue South and go .6 miles to 2335, the Sanderlin Center. Turn left into the driveway. There is parking at the side and back of the Sanderlin Center.
For St. Joseph’s Parish Hall continue on 22nd Avenue South to 21st Street South, turn left. The parking lot and the parish hall are on your right or the west side of the church.
Room for the Spirit, 1127 22nd Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712-2256

Slumlord surprise: A bill for repairs

"Slumlords who leave tenants in squalor, with no heat or hot water, or sometimes with no electricity, may soon find the needed repairs have been made - at their expense. The city says it's fed up with intransigent landlords and is planning a crackdown that will give building inspectors authority to order repairs, without the building owner's consent or cooperation."
Sally Goldenberg, Staten Island Advance

New York City is way ahead of St. Pete. About half of our neighborhood is owned by absentee landlords, many of them slumlords. Code enforcement needs to have more teeth. Nusiance Abatement also needs to be more effective. We can learn from New York. More from the Advance:

The City Council now says it will crack down on these negligent landlords by empowering city housing inspectors to get more involved in making repairs at the landlord's expense.
With a day of pomp and circumstance surrounding the initiative in City Hall yesterday, the Council introduced the "Safe Housing Act," which requires the city to identify 200 buildings each year with the worst housing code violations, intensify inspections and demand that the landlords pay to fix the problems.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Obama in Ybor this Sunday

April 15, Sunday - U.S. Senator Barack Obama will be in town for his first presidential campaign visit to Tampa Bay.

He will appear at a $25 per person rally (spearheaded by Frank Sanchez, Tampa Bay Area O-Train Executive Committee Chair). The fundraiser rally will be held at 2PM in the courtyard of The Cuban Club, 2010 Republica de Cuba Avenue at Palm Ave in Tampa’s Ybor City (doors open at 12:30PM, rally begins at 2PM, with a limited number of $100 reserved seats available – click here for more info or to RSVP).

You could be a part of history being made. This is not the first time a black candidate has come to our area but Obama is the first to be so close to the presidency.

This is Our Country-John Mellencamp

A tribute to America in words and music.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Will you join us today in this effort to make sure that Medicare has the ability to negotiate for lower drug prices?

News from Florida Alliance for Retired Americans:
If you haven't taken action yet, we need your help today. Will you join today in this effort to make sure that Medicare has the ability to negotiate for lower drug prices?
Here is how you can help make the National Call to Action Day a success:
Tell Senators Nelson and Martinez to Say Yes. Call 1-800-869-3130

We need to make sure that calls and emails are pouring into Senate offices. Make sure your voice is heard as the Senate debates this issue. The drug companies and their lobbyists are fighting to kill this legislation because it would help lower drug prices. Tell Senators Nelson and Martinez: "Give Medicare the Right to Bargain for Lower Drug Prices."
For more information about this issue and what you can do, visit our web site at
Thank you for helping to make the National Call to Action Day a success. With your help we will make sure that Senators listen to us, not the drug companies.
Make Sure Senators Nelson and Martinez Listen to Your Voice And Not the Lobbyists for the Drug Industry.

Tony Fransetta

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, April 24 - 27, 2007, in St. Petersburg

A major state wide cultural event is coming to south St. Pete in a few weeks.

I encourage you to register for the Sixth Biennial Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network Conference, Tuesday, April 24 through Friday April 27, 2007 to be held at the beautiful St. Petersburg Hilton Hotel, 333 First Street South.

Highlights of the conference include Dr. Raymond Arsenault, the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus, discussing the freedom riders of 1961. Dr. Arsenault is also the author of the recently published book, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. Other noted speakers include James Early, Director of Cultural Heritage Policy for the Smithsonian Institute’s Center for Folk Life and Cultural Heritage and Dr. Tomeka Hobbs, former Professor of History, Florida A & M University and an authority on oral history, who will outline various methods of documenting local histories. Among the local presenters are Bob Jeffrey, Assistant Director, Development Services and Rick Smith, Senior Planner, Economic Development, who will address various aspects of the economic metamorphosis of St. Petersburg’s urban area known as Midtown.

Additionally, there will be book signings and on site shopping opportunities with vendors of African American art, artifacts, jewelry, and clothing. Tours of African American historical and cultural venues in Midtown St. Petersburg and Tampa are also available.

Should you have questions, please contact Janis Ford at 727- 892-5087 or or Tyna Middleton at 727 893-7894 or