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Lisa Wheeler-Brown mailer draws on tragic death of her son

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

An emotional flier went out to St. Pete voters in District 7 promoting St. Pete City Council candidate Lisa Wheeler-Brown.

The front of the flier shows a solemn, yet driven image of Wheeler-Brown holding a picture of her late son, Cabretti, who was murdered when he was just 21 years old.

A graphic above the photograph says, “On September 6th, 2008 my son was murdered” in large text. Below it in smaller text the bubble reads, “Ever day I’m fighting so no family has to experience what we went through.”

The back of the flier contains more context. Wheeler-Brown writes, “I spent months talking to anyone I could to find his murderer.”

Wheeler-Brown is known best for her activism in the Midtown community trying to break down the no-snitch code of silence that delayed finding her son’s murderer. Ultimately she was successful.

“I brought our community together to capture Cabretti’s killer,” Wheeler-Brown wrote. “He’s in jail, but my work isn’t done.”

The flier lists three plans “to make St. Petersburg a better, safer city for all of our families.”

Wheeler-Brown’s plans include creating better jobs that pay a living wage, making our streets safe and improving education.

Living-wage jobs are listed first “because sustainable jobs with higher wages mean less children will turn to the streets.”

That, in turn could help keep streets safer. She also emphasizes “community policing so we know our local officers.”

“They should reflect our community and be personally invested in safer neighborhoods,” Wheeler-Brown wrote.

City Council has little authority to affect education, but Wheeler-Brown hopes to increase after-school programs, summer camps and community learning plans “to keep our kids off the street year round.”

The flier went out to voters a couple of weeks ago, but another is planned for this week.

Wheeler-Brown faces four other candidates in the August 25th primary. Those are Will Newton, Sheila Scott-Griffin, Aaron Sharpe and Lewis Stephens.

The top two vote-getters will move on to the November general election. Voting in the primary is closed to only District 7 residents. The general election will be citywide.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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