In all my years of political life, I have never seen two more dynamic, thought-provoking and deserving candidates than Akile Cainion, who is running for the District 6 City Council seat and Jesse Nevel who’s running for mayor.
During the 40 years of organizing in St. Petersburg, I have seen the Gas Plant area where hundreds of black families lived destroyed to build a baseball stadium. I have lived through the police murders of Tyron Lewis, Marquell McCullough, Jarrell Walker and Javon Dawson. I have seen children miseducated in Pinellas County schools and hundreds of African children expelled and suspended.
As a member of the Uhuru Movement, I fought against these crimes against the black community and fought for a charter school to educate black children, to end police murders and for economic development for black people.
The election of Akile and Jesse will make it possible for economic development in the black community to become a reality. Both candidates are committed to ending the police violence of the past and black community control of the police is the vehicle by which the police acting as an occupying army in the black community will come to an end. The future of our community is at stake in this election.
For me to endorse these two candidates, they had to have a strong platform position on reparations to the black community of St. Petersburg and a deep understanding of the dire need for economic development as a public policy for the black community.
Both Akile and Jesse bring years of political experience and commitment to total transformation of the African community. Their records are outstanding even though they have both yet to reach 30 years of age. Akile is 20 and Jesse is 27.
In her time on earth, Akile has fought a yearlong battle to get justice for the three drowned black girls: Ashaunti Butler, Laniyah Miller and Dominique Battle. These three children, two aged 15 and one aged 16, were chased by Pinellas County deputies and their car forced into a pond.
The murder of these girls has struck a nerve with Akile and she has fought tenaciously for justice from her position as chairperson of the Three Drowned Black Girls campaign. At the tender age of 18, she was elected membership coordinator for the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
Akile is the candidate we need for District 6 in St. Petersburg, which happens to be the district where I live and a sizable sector of the impoverished African population.
Jesse Nevel is the chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, a mostly white organization that works under the leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party. He has been a staunch leader in the solidarity movement to secure reparations for the black community from the U.S. imperialist government and the general white population.
He is now taking this important demand for reparations into the electoral arena. Jesse has been denied entry into candidate forums and debates and fought back, despite the status quo’s obvious attempts to derail his campaign and keep the question of reparations out of the public discourse concerning this mayoral election.
Akile and Jesse have knocked on thousands of doors in District 6 and St. Petersburg at large. The response has been overwhelming. The black community deserves reparations!
I am proud to endorse the candidacies of Akile Cainion for St. Petersburg District 6 City Council and Jesse Nevel for Mayor.
I encourage every voter to vote for these two candidates on Tuesday, Aug. 2. I urge the many hundreds of ex-felons who cannot vote to make sure every student, friend, coworker, family member and associate votes.
Finally, I want to encourage all voters submitting ballots by mail to get their ballots filled out and vote for Jesse and Akile. Let’s make every vote count.