Caprice Edmond, District 7 Pinellas County School Board, Frank W. Peterman Jr., County Commission District 7, Michelle Rayner, Florida House District 70
BY ROGER K. CLENDENING, Staff Writer
PINELLAS COUNTY – Tomorrow is the Primary Election here in Pinellas County and a few candidates are making sure you remember what they stand for and why you should vote for them.
Caprice Edmond, one of four candidates vying for the District 7 Pinellas County School Board seat, wrote:
I am the candidate best prepared to represent District 7 on the School Board, because I am the only candidate embodying all four critical skill sets I believe are necessary to address the educational challenges we currently face.
These skills include: 1) being the only parent of school-aged children running, therefore being intimately impacted by school board policies; 2) spending 18 years working and advocating for children and education on a local, state and national level; 3) earning Master degrees from USFSP in Educational Leadership and Elementary Education also, an Infant & Family Mental Health Certification; and 4) engaging in community service through the City of St. Petersburg Youth Development Committee, the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area agency, the Pinellas Complete Count Committee, nonprofits, and involvement in the Teachers Union.
As a member of the Government Relations Committee for PCTA-PESPA I’ve met with legislators here, a Tallahassee and nationally, advocating for policy changes around not arming teachers, teacher pay, restorative justice disciplinary practices and LGBTQ+ initiatives which impact our children and schools.
I’ve collaborated with educators across the state to determine what recommendations to submit to the Florida Education Commissioner, as Chair of the Florida Education Association’s (FEA) Teacher Program Policy Committee. This year that work included meeting to discuss the implications of COVID19 and providing recommendations to FEA leadership regarding reopening schools. I also serve on the Goals & Budget Committee, where we review FEA’s budget and discuss allocating funds to support education.
I support parents and the community by participating in discussions, leading initiatives, connecting resources, and being a voice for the voiceless, in my capacity as a parent, child advocate, educator, community leader, and concerned citizen. For additional information visit www.edmondforeducation.com or call me (407) 801-3323.
Frank W. Peterman Jr., one of four candidates seeking a victory in the County Commission District 7 race. He wrote:
As the sole candidate serving on three levels of government, I bring the broadest wealth of experience to the County Commission race. My political career began as a St. Petersburg City Councilman and then as a Florida State Legislator, before ascending to the cabinet-level as the Secretary for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
During my legislative tenure, I was fortunate to pass a landmark bill titled, “Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys” in 2006. This bill explored every aspect of the African-American male experience in our state. Later, as Juvenile Justice Secretary, I was proud to promote prevention and diversionary services for Pinellas County and statewide. During this period, we were able to effectively fund a variety of prevention programs to the tune of $58.9 million, with which we served approximately 30,000 youth.
As a result of these programs, we oversaw a dramatic decrease in the apprehension of our youth. Our affected youth numbers dropped from a high of 123 to a new low of 75, the lowest numbers in over 20 years. This success is in addition to passing billion-dollar budgets and managing an approximately billion-dollar state agency. My compassion for this community has helped change the lives of families in this county and beyond for the better.
As a pastor, I have had the chance to witness the overall African-American experience across Pinellas County and in my city, St. Petersburg. It has been my honor to stand in the gap for families through their celebrations and their trials and tribulations. Therefore, my collective service to this community has been my life’s work. I have always been about you, and I will continue to be about you as your next Pinellas County Commissioner. Vote Peterman for Pinellas. May God bless.”
Michelle Rayner, one of four candidates seeking a primary win for the District 70 legislative seat wrote:
Serving in public office is about partnering with our constituents to bring home solutions to the problems that many in our community and across this state face every day, like the disparities that exist in our education system, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, quality, and affordable healthcare, and access to good-paying jobs. District 70 needs a strong advocate to stand with and fight for our community. The stakes have never been higher, and our residents need a leader who will not back down when advocating for our needs to fully fund education, fix our broken unemployment benefits system, and protect our environment.
A commitment to fighting for justice and equality for all Floridians is the embodiment of who I am and the work I have done. As an attorney, I have represented families in some of the toughest social justice and civil rights cases right here in Pinellas County – like Markeis McGlockton; an unarmed black man killed in a Clearwater convenience store parking lot. I have stood with our residents in moments where the community decided to fight back and push for change and I will continue that work as a legislator in Tallahassee on day one.
As local counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., I’m proud to have been born, raised, and come from a long line of service in Pinellas County. My mother was one of the first Black social-workers in St. Petersburg, Florida, and my uncles served in both local and state elected office who each instilled the importance of public service to me. My experience as an aide in the Florida Legislature, fighting for justice in the courtroom, and using activism to create change in our community exemplify the kind of servant leadership that District 70 can rely on.