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SRQ DAILY Nov 19, 2022

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"I am honored to share that our leadership model has provided help and hope to those most affected by Hurricane Ian, especially in the areas of affordable housing, mental health, and the environment. That makes me grateful this season.."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Dialogue]  About the SRQ DAILY | Perspectives Edition

SRQ Daily: The Perspectives Edition features analysis, commentary and insight on current events in Sarasota and Manatee counties from regular columnists, local leaders and guest contributors. Readers are invited to submit letters that respectfully share their perspective on a local community topic or issue to: letters@srqme.com. Submissions received before Thursday of each week will be considered for the immediate Saturday edition. Editors reserve the right to fact-check and edit. SRQ MEDIA does not house an editorial board and as such does not publish editorials or endorsements of candidates. The opinions and analysis of columns and letters shared in this edition are those of the writer who submitted them. The Perspectives Edition serves as a respectful and thoughtful space for readers to share their voices on topics that are important to them. 

[Argus]  Preserving an Inclusive Legacy in the City of Sarasota
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Voters spoke overwhelmingly in 2018 they wanted a more inclusive election of their City Commissioners. The Change the Date initiative was an unprecedented petition initiative campaign in Sarasota to increase voter turnout and the voice of minorities in elections. This Charter amendment proposal moved the date of city elections from off-cycle to when the most people vote, in August and November of even years.

It was a remarkable campaign that unified some of our most incredible groups across a spectrum of beliefs. They came together in to increase the voter representation of blacks, Hispanics and young people. Co-Chaired by Democrat and former Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Republican Public Defender Larry Eger, this partnership included amazing organizations like the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, ACLU of Florida, Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange, Sarasota NAACP, Manatee Sarasota Building Industry Association, Sarasota ACLU, Realtor Association of Sarasota Manatee, the Sarasota Police Union and The Argus Foundation, among others.

It started with a petition campaign in 2017 timed to make sure the referendum would be voted on in a regular November election. The campaign quickly achieved the petition requirement and almost 1,000 more petitions than what was needed.

It had wide support and that showed in the final polls in 2018, with 63% of voters wanting a more inclusive electorate.

Upon the first election under that new charter amendment, the City elected what was at that time the most diverse City Commission in the history of Sarasota. A woman, a black man and a young Hispanic man were elected to represent the city in one of the highest voter turnouts in city history.

It was a dramatic result that came about from the increased electorate representation for minorities. Black participation in the election of city commissioners more than doubled and there was an astounding 900% increase in Hispanic participation. 

But the important changes did not stop with that election. The election led to diverse leadership appointments, with the first black City Manager and the first Hispanic Police Chief. The second city commission election under this amendment, this month, led to a woman-majority on the City Commission. 

This past summer, Commissioner Hagen Brody took this initiative one step further and proposed a charter amendment to make sure that all charter changes, or changes to what is essentially the city “constitution,” are voted on by the electorate when representation is the highest. 

The Change the Date partners came back together again to encourage the City Commission to place the amendment on the ballot. In a passionate and eloquent speech, after reciting the increased minority participation statistics, Change the Date Co-Chair Suzanne Atwell testified “the evolution of this community is in a direction that is rising to the challenge of maximizing diversity and inclusion. As a community, we should take every opportunity to continue walking in this direction. Any conscious decision to remain rooted in a past that so obviously limited diversity and inclusion is of questionable merit.”

In a supermajority vote, Mayor Arroyo, Vice Mayor Battie, Commissioner Brody and Commissioner Alpert placed the item on the November ballot.

The city electorate passed this amendment with a strong 19% win-margin. It was not close.   

This referendum makes sure the original Change the Date amendment will never be overturned in a special election with a small electorate, and it ensures higher minority representation in changes to the city charter in the future. 

Congratulations to the city voters and the amazing and visionary group of community leaders and organizations who unified to make this historic and important change possible. The future is bright and now guaranteed to be more inclusive in the City of Sarasota.  

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Gulf Coast]  Giving Thanks This Season
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I’m reflecting on where I feel the most gratitude this season. I am grateful for the philanthropic community and our generous donors who provide hope to so many. I am thankful that our region is recovering and beginning to rebuild after Hurricane Ian and its tumultuous wrath. Experiencing our resilient nonprofit partners come together for the greater good has truly warmed my heart.

As we know, the Gulf Coast of Florida, as well as inland counties, experienced severe flooding and wind from Hurricane Ian on Sept. 28 and 29. It may become the costliest storm in Florida’s history. The Gulf Coast Board of Directors launched the Hurricane Ian Recovery Initiative immediately after the storm. Over 40 grants have been awarded to our community’s nonprofits from Gulf Coast Community Foundation‘s Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Fund. In just three weeks, together with our generous donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has provided over $1 million for immediate humanitarian relief to area nonprofits devastated by Hurricane Ian. These nonprofits serve our community in myriad ways – from at-risk children and families, to our environment, seniors and more. Here are a few highlights of the grantees.

Barrier Island Parks Society in Boca Grande received $20,000 from our Hurricane Ian Recovery Initiative to assist employees impacted by Hurricane Ian. Executive Director Sharon R. McKenzie shared, “It means so much to us to have your support especially during this time. We share in your deep care for our community and with your support we will continue to meet our important mission to protect our beautiful local beaches, wildlife, historical structures and maritime history. We are working daily to recover from this catastrophic event and we will remain resilient as we work towards our current goals to keep our beaches clean and safe, repair our damaged historic structures and offer educational programs in 2023.”

DeSoto County Habitat for Humanity received $25,000 from the initiative for the Disaster Recovery Critical Home Repair program fund, while Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida received $5,000 for transportation and gift cards for medicine. Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida serves clients with epilepsy who have no health insurance and are at or below the poverty level. Laurel Civic Association, Inc. received $10,000 for emergency assistance to families in need. The association, established in 1969, helps children and families get closer to the goal of self-sufficiency each day with the help of grants, donations, volunteers and collaborations.  

I am honored to share that our leadership model has provided help and hope to those most affected by Hurricane Ian, especially in the areas of affordable housing, mental health, and the environment. That makes me grateful this season. 

It’s said that thankfulness is the quickest path to joy. May your Thanksgiving holiday be filled with joy and gratitude.

Mark Pritchett is President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

Photo courtesy Gulf Coast Community Foundation, YMCA Southwest Florida.

[SOON]  SPORTS: Tournament Features Elite Female Baseball Players as the Original All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Passes the Torch to A New Generation of Female Athletes , November 19 – November 22

The Legends of Woman’s Baseball in America announces the inaugural All-American Woman’s Baseball Classic Tournament to be held at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida from November 19-22, 2022. The multi-day event will include a free baseball clinic for girls ages 5-18 coached by former MLB players and a championship female coaching team, on Monday, November 21st. Pro-level tournament competition will begin on Saturday, November 19th between four teams, each wearing replica colors of jerseys worn by the 1943 All- Americans. The event will culminate on Tuesday, November 22 with a championship tournament and awards ceremony. Our legacy sponsor Misdee Wrigley Miller, the granddaughter of Phillip K. Wrigley, founder of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), will throw out the first pitch of the championship game in his honor on Tuesday, November 22nd. Sixty of the nation’s elite woman athletes, many of whom are members of the prestigious Women’s Baseball World Cup, will showcase this generation’s major league-level talent while recognizing the women who paved the way before them. The tournament will pay homage to the League’s history by using the names of the original four teams – Peaches, Blue Sox, Belles, and Comets. Baseball is America’s pastime, yet it has passed women by. We believe that’s about to change. Timing is ripe to shine a light on equality, diversity, access, and inclusion. Every girl should have the opportunity to play baseball.

[SOON]  FOOD: Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar - Waterfront Dining On Thanksgiving Day , November 24, 11am-8pm

Phillippi Creek is the perfect waterfront destination for gathering with family and friends.  The award-winning Phillippi Creek restaurant will feature the regular menu with additional specials like fresh Stone Crabs, baked stuffed seafood,, fresh steamed oysters, and oysters on the half shell and  Seafood boats for two along with a traditional Turkey Dinner for those craving the flavors of the holiday.  For over 37 years, the “Creek” as locals like to call it, has been a favorite to gather for the freshest seafood, cocktails and daily specials for lunch and dinner. Large parties without reservations are welcome for al fresco dining or can enjoy one of the larger tables indoors. Whether early lunch, late afternoon family meal, or a cozy dinner for two, Phillippi Creek is your destination to enjoy the holiday. Thursday, November 24, 2022  Opening at 11a.m.-8:00 p.m. 5353 Tamiami Trail South Sarasota, FL 34231 (941) 925-4444  www.creekseafood.com

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar, 5353 Tamiami Trail South Sarasota, FL 34231

[SOON]  THEATER: URBANITE THEATRE: The Burdens , October 21 – November 27, Varied

Siblings Mordy and Jane have a problem. Their dreadful, centenarian grandfather is an emotional and financial tax on the family, and he just won’t die. Scheming almost entirely via sarcastic and misspelled text messages, the siblings hatch an outrageous plan to relieve their family of their grandfather’s burden. Zany, twisted and inventive, this dark comedy reminds us it’s much easier to write what we could never say face to face. LOCATION 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236 CONTACT (941) 321-1397 info@urbanitetheatre.com www.urbanitetheatre.com

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Medieval Fair , November 5 – November 27, 10am-5:30pm

SARASOTA MEDIEVAL FAIR Every Saturday and Sunday running November 5th-27th, 2022 at Woods of Mallaranny (29847 FL-70 E.Myakka City, FL 34251). Welcome one and all to four weekends of exciting tournaments, scrumptious feasts, & pure family fun at the 18th Annual Sarasota Medieval Fair! Live the majesty and madness of knights, jesters, minstrels, acrobatics, wenches, and sword swingers! Watch jousts and human combat chess tournaments! Listen to musical displays of powerful bagpipes and the heart pounding drums. Feast on turkey legs and hearty ales. A full day of entertainment. You will not miss your favorite show as you stroll through the village as the shows repeat several times a day to adjust to your schedule. Get into the fun by wearing your favorite medieval or renaissance garb to feel part of the clan! For tickets visit www.sarasotamedievalfair.com Phone 1-888-303-FAIR (3247)

Woods of Mallaranny, 29847 FL-70 E. Myakka City, FL 34251

[SOON]  : The Ringling - A Decade of Collecting , October 22 – January 22, Varied

A Decade of Collecting brings together a survey of artworks acquired for the permanent collection over the past eleven years. As the State Art Museum of Florida and a division of Florida State University, The Ringling’s collections are constantly expanding to provide our state and local community with access to current contemporary works in all media and thoughtful additions to our historic collections. Though the core of the collection has always been the works acquired by John and Mable Ringling, the museum’s holdings have been expanding ever since the State of Florida took full possession of the bequest in 1946. In the early years, these additions were mainly in pre-1800 European art and circus-related material, but over the second half of the 20th century, directors and curators also began acquiring works by modern and contemporary artists. A Decade of Collecting presents a unique snapshot of how The Ringling’s collection continues to evolve, allowing us to tell new stories of the past, present, and future. Visit ringling.org to plan your visit.

Museum of Art Searing Galleries

[SOON]  FOOD: Epicurean Greece Menu at Michael's On East , November 1 – December 1, Tuesday through Saturday evenings

On November 1st we launched the Epicurean Greece menu at Michael's On East: "The culinary team at Michael’s On East is challenged to create new dishes inspired by the world’s most exotic destinations each month. Join us to experience ever-changing, palate-pleasing global cuisine with Michael's Epicurean Adventures. The three-course dinner menu is available Tuesday through Saturday evenings for $42.95 per person." The menu includes: “Kasarma Seafood Saganaki” - Shrimp, Clams and Swordfish with Roasted Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Spinach, Gremolata Butter, Orzo Pasta, Toasted Goat Cheese, and Ouzo Flambé; and “Grande Bretagne Braised Baby Lamb Shank” - Braised Lamb Shank with Green Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Carrots, and Lemon Risotto.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Imagine Museum Offering Free Admission to Veterans and First Responders Through November , November 1 – November 30

The Imagine Museum, a contemporary glass art gallery located in downtown St. Petersburg, announced Tuesday that veterans, active-duty military, first responders and their immediate family members will receive free admission throughout November in recognition of National Veterans and Military Families Month. Located on Central Avenue, the museum plans to showcase its “Flight and Illusion” installation, a series of military-themed glass art created by Imagine Museum Founder Trish Duggan. Additionally, the museum features artwork created by Harvey Littleton, founder of the American studio glass movement and World War II Army Signal Corpsman. The Imagine Museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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