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Lynn Gray

Teachers, activists in Tampa blast ‘schools of hope’ legislation

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Two weeks ago, the Florida House spent more than three hours debating a bill to attract specialized, high-performing charter schools to Florida as an alternative to struggling public schools. On Thursday, with time running out in the 2017 Session, teacher union officials, educators and activists denounced the controversial $200 million spending plan (HB 1505) at a news conference outside of Essrig Elementary School in northwest Tampa. “Diverting $200 million in our taxpayer money away from our children’s public schools to unaccountable…

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Carlos Frontela chastened by 2016 mistakes, is fired up for House District 62 bid

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In declaring his candidacy early for the Tampa-based House District 62 seat, Carlos Frontela already demonstrates he’s learned from rookie mistakes made last year in his bid for the Hillsborough County School Board. “I jumped in really late, two months before the primary,” he says, reminiscing about his ill-fated run for the District 7 seat ultimately captured by Lynn Gray last November. “No time to really organize, no time to really gain any campaign contributions,” he says which is why he’s working on qualifying…

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At town hall in Ybor City, Darryl Rouson says climate is good for “true” criminal justice reform

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At a town-hall meeting in Tampa’s Ybor City, newly-elected Senate District 19 Democrat Darryl Rouson said he feels that, finally, a serious attempt at criminal justice reform is going to take place in the Florida Legislature in 2017. “It’s my intention to change the Black Caucus this year so that all 28 members … really stand up and do something,” he said when queried by one new constituent, who told him that the only way to stop gun violence was to provide…

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Realtors backs David Singer in HD 60 race

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The Greater Tampa Realtors unveiled their list of endorsements in the upcoming election on Tuesday, and one of their most provocative selections is choosing Democrat David Singer over Republican Jackie Toledo in the House District 60 campaign. The Realtors made 20 selections in all: 10 Republicans, six Democrats, and four candidates running in nonpartisan races. All of the Democrats, except one, the Realtors are backing are incumbents or, in some cases, running in open seats where they are heavily favored: CD 14 Rep. Kathy Castor, SD 19 Senate…

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Alan Clendenin leads all Hillsborough County school board candidates in fundraising

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Although he was one of the last candidates to enter the race for school board in Hillsborough County this year, Alan Clendenin leads all of them in fundraising, new reports show. The District 7 candidate brought in $8,285 from June 1-24, and has raised more than $45,000 since getting into the contest on May 6. The next closest in fundraising in District 7 is Stanley Gray, who has brought in $34,150. Clendenin retired in 2012 from a career working as an…

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Hillsborough School Board candidate Stanley Gray calls for more outrage over district graduation rates

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Seven candidates are running for the Hillsborough County School Board District 7 election, and Stanley Gray thinks he’s the best man for the job. The 60-year-old retired Marine captain lived all around the country for the first part of his life, but settled down in Tampa in 2001. He’s outraged by the graduation rates in Hillsborough County schools, and says more people should be. According to a 2015 Tampa Bay Times report, Hillsborough had a graduation rate of 73.5 percent, which trailed the…

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Alan Clendenin to run for Hillsborough County School board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Alan Clendenin, the first vice chair of the Florida Democratic Party, a member of the Democratic National Committee and a retired air traffic controller, announced Friday that he will run for the Hillsborough County School Board in District 7. Clendenin, 57,  has never run for any elected office, but he’s a prominent Democrat who came close to leading the state party back in January of 2013. In a brief interview, Clendenin says he likes the direction that Superintendent Jeff Eakins…

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