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“Make Tampa” launched to have collaboration build a better city

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Tampa entrepreneur launched a website and released a book simultaneously Monday in hopes of increasing collaboration between residents and city officials to “Make Tampa.” Antonius DeSisto, founder and CEO of crowdfunding giant Citizinvestor, hopes increasing engagement in planning and development will aid in “fashioning of a long-term plan for Tampa.”

His book, “Make Tampa,” lays out a vision for three areas of government: open, thriving and seamless.

“It is a call to action for more open and collaborative governing process that harnesses the intelligence, creativity, and passion of the people,” DeSisto said.

To “Make Tampa Open” DeSisto suggests opening its data and engaging and collaborating more with the public by recording and publishing its metrics.

“It argues for a shift in thinking from an emphasis on corporate relocation and square footage-based metrics to a focus on talent attraction and the incubation and support of local business,” DeSisto said. “This can be accomplished by focusing on quality of life, infrastructure and transportation improvements.”

To make Tampa seamless, DeSisto recommends a holistic approach to planning with an emphasis on strong neighborhoods and further empowering the most disadvantaged of Tampa residents.

DeSisto isn’t pursuing a particular proposal. He’s not looking, necessarily, for City Council action or movement within the city’s administration, but he does hope that proposals will emerge from the resulting conversations.

To assist in advancing discussions, DeSisto’s website gives viewers the opportunity to comment on ideas and visions for Tampa. On Day 1, four residents had already chimed in.

“Let’s continue to develop Tampa’s downtown as an amazing place to live and work,” wrote Jordan Raynor, DeSisto’s partner in founding Citizinvestor.

Another resident, Hoyt Prindle III, wrote that Tampa needs to focus on improving mass transit.

“The citizens of this city should no longer tolerate excuses from their municipal and state elected officials for why a multimodal transportation system has not been built,” Prindle wrote.

Another resident agreed. There was also a suggestion that Tampa continues to make the city friendly for corporate headquarters.

DeSisto’s book is available in paperback or on Kindle.

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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