Former Gov. Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman gave two members of the U.S. Congress an up close look at some of the challenges the city is facing with its outdated sewer system.
In turn, they urged support for Charlie Crist in the upcoming election. Crist is running for the Congressional District 13 seat held by Republican David Jolly.
Crist said he asked U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Lois Frankel to tour the Southwest Water Treatment Plant, 3800 54th Ave. S to educate them and make them aware of the problem. The federal government, he said, could provide St. Pete with funding to help offset the multi-million dollar cost of replacing and repairing the system.
Like Crist and Kriseman, both Lee and Frankel are Democrats. Frankel represents Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, which stretches from Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County to Ft. Lauderdale and Plantation in Broward County. Lee represents California’s 13th CD. She is a member of the Budget Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal government spending.
After they toured the sewer plant, Crist, Lee and Frankel joined U.S. Rep Kathy Castor at Chief’s Creole Café restaurant in south St. Petersburg where they met with a group of women to discuss issues important to them. Castor, a Democrat, represents Florida’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Tampa, part of St. Petersburg and parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Among the women at the roundtable discussion were Pinellas School Board member Rene Flowers, Gulfport Council member Yolanda Roman, and Susan Glickman, Florida Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund.
Among the issues: equal pay, more equitable access to funding for small businesses run by women and minorities, reproductive choice, women’s health, energy, global warming and climate change, solar power, Social Security, jobs, anti-minority bias in policing, and education.
Castor, Frankel and Lee agreed: None of those things would get done while Congress is controlled by Republicans.
The priorities of the Republican-led Congress are completely divorced from the issues that are important to everyday people, Castor said.
They urged the women at the table to help elect Crist to add his voice to those of other Democrats in Congress and as a step to gaining a majority of seats in the U.S. House.