Hirsch throws her name in the hat for District 5 City Council

Dear Editor:

My name is Anne Hirsch and, with the support of the people, will be your next District 5 City Councilwoman in St. Petersburg.

My platform slogan is “Unity Through Reparations,” an ode to the powerful local electoral campaigns waged by the Uhuru Movement in 2017, which called for reparations to the black community as the starting point for genuine progress in this city.

It was the first reparations campaign in the world and inspired the discussion of reparations in the mainstream today.

I share this reparations platform with Eritha Akile Cainion, who is running in District 7 City Council, calling to “Make the Southside Black Again.”

This 10-point-platform puts forward an agenda that addresses the aspirations of the black community in St. Petersburg.

We are running together so that when we win in November, there will be two people fighting for this agenda on the city council.

My introduction to active political life began in 2001 around the campaign to elect Omali Yeshitela for mayor of St. Pete.

His call for shared prosperity through an end to police containment on the south side, and a call to focus on economic development in the black community through a massive infusion of capital to support black business development made sense to me.

Through that campaign, it became clear to me, a white woman, that the horrific history of the enslavement of an independent and free African people into chattel slavery, whose labor went to build the white world, still influenced the conditions faced by the black community today.

I donated to his campaign from some money my grandfather had given to me that year, and I became a leading force in Citizens United for Shared Prosperity, an organization formed to forward the platform of Yeshitela’s mayoral campaign. I continued for a couple of years after that, even after he was not elected mayor of St. Pete by the majority white population.

Of interest here, is the fact that he won all but one of the majority black and mixed districts, proving he was truly elected the black community’s mayor!

From that time on, for the last 19 years, I have been a part of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. I have spent many years going into the white community to actually raise reparations to the self-determination programs of the Uhuru Movement.

I am a practicing midwife. Being a witness to the precious beginning of life, I want to make sure that all children have an opportunity to prosper.

This, as we all know, is currently not the case in St. Petersburg, or any place in the world.

There are two St. Petes. You can see the divide right down the middle of our city.

The current city council and those before it have been building white St. Petersburg at the expense of the black community.

As a longtime organizer in the white community, I know I represent the views of many white people in this city who do not want the city to disperse, criminalize, brutalize, murder and imprison black people, so that we can have a latte, shop at art markets or have a unique meal in a local restaurant.

We want a city where everyone can thrive.

We want our tax dollars to go back to the black community to repay what has been stolen!

We want a truly progressive city with a focus on human beings, not profit for a few.

With this future, we can increase the city’s tax base revenue, build genuinely affordable housing, bring power to the people and out of the hands of the corrupt, bought politicians.

We know that all the problems a people’s movement can solve our city faces and a people-focused city budget centered on reparations to the black community!

It’s going to take your support to make this future real.

The City of St. Petersburg can make history by being the first reparations city in the world.

The Primary Election is Aug. 27.

To read our 10-point-platform and find out how to get involved in this campaign for District 5 City Council, go to votehirsch.com.

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