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Burning Spear News

Jesse Nevel, St. Petersburg mayoral candidate, runs against big money elite with platform of "Unity through Reparations"

Apr 11, 2017
Penny Hess; Chair of the African People's Solidarity Committee

St Petersburg, FL—Jesse Nevel announced his candidacy for Mayor of the City of St. Petersburg, Florida on March 8th, 2017.

The 27-year-old is best known for his work as the National Chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM), the organization of white people working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), organizing for reparations to the black community.

He made the announcement standing in front of the Tropicana Field baseball stadium surrounded by supporters including family members, friends and community members.

The site of the announcement was chosen, Jesse explained, to symbolize the ongoing injustice exemplified in the city’s displacement of the black community that once lived in the area where the Tropicana stadium was later constructed.

“We are here to stand together as a movement of the people to say in one voice, loud and clear that we will no longer tolerate the failed policies and social and economic injustices of the past, the corruption of establishment politicians and their false and empty promises,” Jesse stated.

Jesse denounced the current mayor, Rick Kriseman, as a pawn of the big money elite who are transforming the economic terrain of St Petersburg into a wealthy, upscale tourist attractor at the expense of the black community and other neighborhoods of people who have lived in the city for generations.

He also announced that his campaign would be hitting the streets to build a movement for sweeping changes in the city government. The public policy of police containment will be replaced by a public policy of economic development.

“Save that $79 million they want to use to build a new police station and put that towards developing business on 16th Street right down the street from where we stand right now,” declared Jesse.

A platform based on community development

Jesse laid out the main points of his platform which include: reparations to African (black) people, ending gentrification, drastic reduction of the police budget and support for democratic black community control of police, ending homelessness, protecting the rights of veterans, disabled and LGBT people, building city-wide drug rehab programs with decriminalization of drugs, supporting sustainable community gardening projects, building public transportation, ending discrimination within the Fire, Police and Water Resources departments against African city workers, fixing the failed education system and building infrastructure to process sewage and end toxic pollution.

“We need a revolution to empower the citizens of this city to come together to create unity, opportunity, prosperity and human rights for all, not one group at the expense of another,” said Jesse. “Reparations and self-determination for the black community must be at the core of our progressive agenda for St. Petersburg.”

Jesse railed against Kriseman for his role in the notorious 2016 sewage scandal where the City of St. Pete knowingly released over 256 million gallons of raw, untreated sewage into the Clam Bayou (neighboring a black community) and the Tampa Bay.

“What Kriseman and St Pete big money got away with last summer was criminal. Nobody faced a day in court. We will do something about that. Somebody is going to jail,” said Jesse.

A breath of fresh air 

Jesse was joined by family including his mother Dana who made a moving statement in support of her son’s run for mayor, speaking of his lifelong passion for ending injustice. 

“Raising Jesse, I was awed and proud that he not only retained the values that he was brought up with, but that he grew them to an even higher level,” said Easterling. “As a man, he has stood for what is right and loves this city. He wants St. Pete to be a city of unity with all people working together to make it a safe, beautiful place for all.”

Other community activists including Chimurenga Selembao of the Uhuru Movement spoke in favor of Jesse for Mayor. 

Jesse’s candidacy comes at a time when another local candidate, Eritha “Akile” Cainion for District 6 City Council, has announced her campaign on a platform of reparations and black community control of police.

Both of these candidates represent a breath of fresh air in the electoral arena. Through engaging electoral politics with a revolutionary platform, these campaigns contribute to broadening and deepening the base of support for the struggle for reparations and black self-determination. 

Their background in revolutionary politics gives us confidence that they will fight for justice and unity through reparations when they win the elections later this year.

Jesse ended his campaign announcement by declaring, “Together we will defeat them. We will win!”

If you are interested in joining the campaign please contact [email protected] or 727-537-9723 or go to jessenevel.com. 

Contact the campaign by mail at :
Jesse Nevel for Mayor

P.O. Box 10842

St. Petersburg, FL 33733

The primary is on August 29th. 

Unity through reparations! 

 

 

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