ST. PETERSBURG — What could be a better way to wind down an unusually hot and stormy summer in Florida than to watch a family movie, splash around in the pool and snack and chat with the community at the Childs Park pool? The fun took place last Fri., Aug. 7 from 7:30-10:30 p.m.
John Muhammad, president of the Childs Park Neighborhood Association, teamed up with Mike Jeffries, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of St. Petersburg, to make the event happen not only just for the immediate community but for St. Petersburg as a whole.
Children and adults of all ages dipped and dove in the two large pools to cool down from the 90 plus degree heat during the day.
“We invited the community out to enjoy a recent movie while swimming and enjoying the fellowship and time together with friends and family,” said Jeffries.
“The children had a blast and we had a wonderful discussion about ways to improve and strengthen our community,” said Muhammad, summarizing the night’s events on Facebook.
As the movie “Frozen” was just about to get underway, Jeffries commended Muhammad on his contributions for putting “the neighbor back in the hood” in the Childs Park area.
The atmosphere of fellowship gave Muhammad an opportunity to also meet with concerned citizens who had lodged complaints about local merchants always willing to take the money of community citizens but not being “respectful and willing to give support back to the community.”
“A lot of businesses in our community prosper but they prosper without giving and supporting the community,” said Muhammad. “I get a lot of complaints about businesses in the area and one of the number one complaints is the way they treat people, the way they handle people. They take your money, look at you mean, talk to you crazy and just disrespect you.”
Muhammad also said that several young women were being harassed to perform sexual favors if they wanted more hours or wanted to keep their job. He said that the allegations of sexual misconduct were currently under further investigation.
As the movie started kicking into high gear and the kids jumped off multiple diving boards, Muhammad emphasized the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. and the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan:
“We’re letting people know that you have options and we do not have to submit ourselves to this kind of treatment. So we are working to organize our demands and things that we want that we will be presenting to business owners in the community. And then if they’re unwilling to meet those demands, we will be withdrawing our economic support of their businesses.”
Over 70 residents came out to the first Flick and Float event at Childs Park and talks of another one for the community is in the works just before the summer ends for kids and they return to school. Further dialogue on taking control and embracing the community economics will also continue.