Unifying Our Community

Corey Givens, Jr.

Dear Editor,

St. Petersburg is my home and is the place of my family’s roots. I consider this community my family because so many of you have played a pivotal role in my development and growth as a young man growing up on the south side of town. The same city that has been degraded, defamed and doubted by critics over the years is the very same city that has raised legends, such as actress Angela Bassett; the late Councilman David Welch, pro-basketball player Marreese Speights and a host of many others.

The beautiful thing about our community is that we are more than just a myriad of neighborhoods, we are a family. A family that thrives off of the sacrifices and debts paid by those who marched, so that we may rise.

We live-up to the age-old saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” The beautiful thing about our city, particularly Midtown, is that we have been a haven for entrepreneurs, churches, and city leaders for decades. We’ve given others a platform to stand on and an avenue to voice their concerns with hopes that others will be helped along the way.

Unfortunately, many of the elected officials and community activists that we put our faith in and cast our votes for have neglected the very same communities that put them where they are today.

I consider myself part of the next generation of leaders in our beloved St. Petersburg. I am passionate about seeing my young brothers and sisters getting involved in the democratic process to make a difference in our community. It hurts me to know that many of the self-proclaimed “leaders” in our community that we have reached out to refuse to lend a helping hand. After all, it is our generation who must pick up the torch and bear the burdens of a neglected community.

It pains me to see the black community divided over an election. We have four minority candidates running in a single-district election this cycle (District 7). Rather than banning together to ensure that the bureaucrats do not win, we have chosen self-gain over unity. We need to do as the “old folks” taught us and support one another.

The time has come for us to lead by example. Furthermore, the lack of leadership and willingness to serve has led to us becoming a “voiceless” society. We no longer educate ourselves on the facts and issues affecting our people. Instead, we take others preconceived notions and formulated opinions as our own decision-making factor. Family, this must stop NOW!

As the newly appointed Outreach Chair of the Pinellas County Democratic Party, my goal is to unify our party and our people. History has proven that there is power in unity. We get more accomplished together than we do separately. Voting is imperative and if we forfeit that right, we cheat ourselves and future generations.

I firmly believe that we can become conquerors of our own destiny and restore our city back to its former glory. If you are passionate about saving our community and revitalizing our city, I urge you not to wait another minute. Act now, because tomorrow is not promised!

Yours in Christ,

Corey Givens, Jr.

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