Mayor-elect Welch invites residents to help shape city’s future

Mayor-elect Ken Welch is inviting residents to help shape the city’s vision and future by holding a “Community Conversations” series next month.

ST. PETERSBURGMayor-elect Ken Welch is inviting residents to help shape the city’s vision and future by holding a “Community Conversations” series in December at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Student Center. One of the three sessions will also be held virtually for those who cannot attend in person.

“Listening to our community is my top priority and one of the most important things we can do,” Welch said. “This is a great opportunity for our residents to come together to share strategies and ideas to make our great city a better place to live for all.”

The Community Conversations are open to the public and sponsored by the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.

“We are thrilled to help support these community conversations,” said Jason Mathis, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership CEO. “We know the importance of community engagement, and we are delighted, but not surprised, to see the Welch Administration start out with this important effort. We look forward to working with Mayor-elect Welch and supporting an incredible period of equitable and sustainable growth in our community over the next several years.”

“Listening to the lived experience of city residents is critical to advance the health outcomes for all of us,” added Randall H. Russell, President & CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. “This effort illustrates a drive to lift the voices of all residents, including those most often not heard. The Foundation deeply believes listening to hear, learn, and respond is vital to an involved citizenry.”

Residents are asked to sign up for one of the three sessions, with each session able to accommodate 300 people. Click here to register.

  • Friday, Dec. 10:1 p.m. to 4 p.m. USF St. Pete
  • Saturday, Dec. 11:9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. USF St. Pete
  • Monday, Dec. 13: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (virtual)

The events will provide the community an opportunity to weigh in on five areas: Education and youth opportunities, equitable development and business opportunities, neighborhood health and safety, the environment, infrastructure and resilience, and housing opportunities for all.

Each session will begin with opening remarks from Mayor-elect Welch, and then participants will break into smaller groups for 30-minute discussions on each of the five transition topics. The event will close with everyone coming together to share key ideas.

Professional facilitators will lead the program with the World Cafe systems-thinking model that expands the range of choices available for solving a problem by broadening thinking and helping participants articulate issues.

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg Student Center is located at 200 6th Ave. S in St. Petersburg.

Welch served five terms on the Pinellas County Commission and won the November mayoral election with more than 60 percent of the vote, becoming the first African American to be elected to the city’s top elected office.  He will become mayor when he is inaugurated on Jan. 6, 2022.

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