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St. Pete Chamber makes voting a social activity

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The concept is simple: Get together with business associates for lunch. But, instead of heading back to the office after eating, head to the polls together.

That’s the agenda for Thursday’s “Startup & Vote” event.

The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce has invited technical startup companies to come lunch in Williams Park — food trucks will be there for the event. When everyone has finished noshing and mingling, the group will walk the block or so to the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Office across from St. Petersburg City Hall to vote.

The chamber is estimating about 200 business people will show for the “totally nonpartisan” event, Sean Kennedy said. Kennedy is the manager of the St. Petersburg Greenhouse.

The Greenhouse is sponsored by the chamber and the city. The goal is to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with the education, resources and assistance necessary to thrive in the local economy.

Kennedy said the outreach to startup technical companies is designed, not only to get people out to vote, but to make the point that the group, as a whole, is a voice in the community. As such, the group should exercise its franchise.

Kennedy said Startup & Vote is the concept of Steve Ressler, president and founder of GovLoop, a knowledge network for government. GovLoop connects more than 150,000 members, fostering cross-government collaboration, solving common problems and advancing government careers.

The idea is that Startup & Vote is designed make it easier for companies to let their employees vote while at the same time letting people relax and have fun seeing tech friends.

Durham, NC; Des Moines, Iowa; and Miami are also taking part in the Startup & Vote initiative.

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