PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (March 13, 2014) — Leaders of the grassroots Yes for Greenlight campaign initiative, working to spread awareness about how the Greenlight Pinellas plan would dramatically improve local transit, have recently taken a number of significant steps as the group gets the effort rolling.
• Don Ewing, President of the Council of North County Neighborhoods, a community organization in North Pinellas, and President of Haruspex Business Software in Clearwater, has joined Chris Steinocher (CEO, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce) as Co-Chairs of the campaign.
• Joel Giles, Tom Morrissette, Stuart Rogel, and Bob Clifford have been named as the initiative’s Organizational Committee, which will support the Co-Chairs in operational decision-making.
Giles is a Shareholder with Carlton Fields Jorden Burt and is former Public Policy Chair for the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Morrissette is President of the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce. o Rogel is CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. Clifford is CEO of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.
• Friends for Greenlight, which is running the Yes for Greenlight campaign, is filed as an official Political Committee. With a commitment to full transparency, the campaign will publicly report every dollar raised and spent, and will submit its first financial report on or before April 10.
• Building on an inclusive process that has been taking shape for months, an Advisory Council has been formed with a wide range of Pinellas leaders representing community, civic and business groups. The Council is assisting with community outreach efforts while providing feedback. The group, which will grow over time, initially includes:
• Niel Allen – Realtor – Smith & Associates
• Erica Boags – Senior Manager – HSN
• Phil Compton – Regional Rep – Sierra Club
• Jeff Danner – Consultant – Danner Consulting
• Jim Dickson – Partner – Adams and Reese
• Anne Drake McMullen – Executive VP – Doyle Wealth Management
• Joe Falanga – Director – RJF Enterprises
• Marcus Greene – Senior VP – BB&T Bank
• Andy Hayes – Principal – Hayes Cumming Architects
• Tim Heberlien – Consultant – Florida Consumer Action Network
• Karla Jo Helms – Founder – Jo T o PR
• Todd Josko – President – Josko Public Affairs + Communications
• Amy Maguire – VP , Government/Corporate Relations – All Children’ s Hospital
• Marcus Martin – Career Development Director – RE/MAX Metro
• John Miolla – President – Crescent Oaks HOA
• Melissa Seixas – Government/Community Relations District Manager – Duke Energy
• Rick Smith – Chief of Staff – SEIU Florida Public Services Union
• Robin Sollie – CEO – Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber
• Bob Warchola – Partner – Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick
• Joe Farrell, Director of Public Affairs of the Pinellas Realtor Organization, will serve as Campaign Manager, and will be working closely with the Co-Chairs, Organizational Committee, Advisory Council and the initiative’s other partners to create and implement overall campaign strategies. Farrell has extensive campaign experience over the last decade including campaign management and consulting for local, state, and federal candidates, as well as for state and local referendums.
• Gainesville-based political agency Strategic Guidance Systems, with deep experience in successful campaigns around Florida and beyond, has been hired to help with such political operations as polling, voter outreach, and paid advertising.
• St. Petersburg-based B2 Communications, a top public relations agency with clients around Florida and beyond, has been hired to help drive communications strategy and media relations, while assisting with other outreach efforts.
About Yes for Greenlight:
The Yes for Greenlight campaign is encouraging Pinellas voters to vote YES on a November 4 ballot question that will create transformational bus improvements and future passenger rail, enhancing public transportation in the County.
The plan includes: a 1-cent increase in sales tax (with restrictions and a cap); elimination of the PSTA property tax; a 65% increase in bus service, including buses running to and from Tampa in the evenings and on weekends; a doubling of bus service in northern Pinellas; longer service hours to accommodate evening workers and travelers; and passenger rail from St. Petersburg to Clearwater via the Gateway/Carillon area.
About Strategic Guidance Systems:
SGS is a full-service political consulting, data and research company based in Gainesville, Florida. SGS serves large trade associations, coalitions and other industry groups nationwide, assisting in policy and political research and campaign execution of all types. Information is at orrasgs.com.
About B2 Communications:
B2 creates and executes wide-ranging, client-specific programs that include such professional communications services as: media relations, community/industry relations, direct outreach, content development, message coaching, and marketing consulting. Information is at B2communications.com.