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Issues

The foundation of my campaign is to make St. Petersburg a better place for all people. That can be achieved in different ways, with a few key focal points.

  1. Affordable housing is critical to our growing city. As I have spent my entire professional career renovating buildings from the private sector, I know firsthand what it takes to provide quality, affordable housing for our city. There are multiple methods through which we can provide this, such as increased education and subsidies for renovating existing housing stock, which is almost always more affordable than new construction. This provides adequate housing, reduces blight in our neighborhoods, and instills a sense of pride in our residents. Also, renovating vs rebuilding can help preserve the architectural character of a neighborhood.
  2. The environment is another key issue for me. For a district bounded by water to the west, and a city on a peninsula, we need to be aware of what environmentalism means. It is the foundation of our economy, as we have a robust tourism industry and strong marine sciences sector. But, environmentalism also means quality of life, protecting our natural resources, and ensuring that we keep our city beautiful for future generations. Increased education on recycling, promoting composting initiatives, installing and promoting the growth of oyster beds, and creating living shorelines wherever possible will protect our city and promote a happier, healthier St. Pete for all.
  3. Infrastructure is another issue I am passionate about. Although not glamorous, it is something we need to be constantly cognizant of. I have real world experience in completing projects on time, and on budget. And I will bring my business perspective to city council. Over the past few years, the deficiencies in some of our key public works, such as the sewer system and the dated pipelines underground, have come to the forefront in a disastrous way, resulting in sewage discharges into our waters. While the city has taken positive steps taken to address these issues, I want to ensure we are constantly budgeting for improvements, upgrades, and repairs. We should put as much money as possible towards improving our public works so that this never happens again, damaging our city's reputation, as well as our wildlife and ecosystem. Additional infrastructure projects such as sidewalk cohesiveness, and street and bridge repair and replacement (such as the failing of the Shore Acres bridge) are projects that I would like to see done in a way that benefits our residents and city the most. And, they need to be budgeted for appropriately.


Robert Blackmon for City Council District 1
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