St. Petersburg swears in Kriseman, first female-majority City Council

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | City officials and an engaged constituency lined the halls and streets of St. Petersburg’s City Hall Jan. 2 for the official Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor Rick Kriseman and the City Council.

The ceremony began just after 11 a.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, where new and re-elected members of City Council vowed to serve St. Petersburg. Council Members Brandi Gabbard, Gina Driscoll, Darden Rice and Amy Foster were each sworn into the council, creating St. Petersburg history in the process.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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In a year filled with many setbacks and obstacles, the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay have met those challenges with amazing resilience and resisted all forms of discrimination.

The individuals selected as Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017 come from many walks of life but all share one thing in common, they all were truly exceptional this year.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Darden Rice, St. Petersburg City Council Chair

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“When I first ran in 2005, I was openly, unapologetically attacked for being gay,” Darden Rice, the first out candidate for public office in Pinellas County recalls. “But today… more and more, the public sees our issues as everyday issues that any American faces.”

That’s in part because of candidates and public officials like Rice. In November of this year, after a successful term in which she served as St. Petersburg’s City Council Chair, she garnered 72.64 percent of the vote to win her bid for re-election. That’s an impressive 41,914 votes to her opponent’s 15,786.

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League of Women Voters hold forum for St. Petersburg City Council candidates

By : Samuel Johnson
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ST. PETERSBURG | St. Petersburg City Council candidates discussed a variety of city specific issues. The overarching tone was, generally speaking, vague on details but full of amiable rhetoric. Whether it was talk on the Rays, the pier or Pride celebrations; there wasn’t any tangible fringe politicking.

The League of Women Voters organized this public event which took place in the council chambers at city hall Sept. 25. It’s the third forum following the August primaries. All six candidates were present: Barclay Harless and Brandi Gabbard of District 2, Jerick Johnston and incumbent Darden Rice of District 4, Gina Driscoll and Justin Bean of District 6.

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Amy Foster, Darden Rice win City Council seats; Kriseman unseats Mayor Bill Foster

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – And then there were three, as in three members of the LGBT community sitting on the St. Petersburg City Council. At least there will be, once Amy Foster and Darden Rice are sworn into their District 8 and District 4 seats, respectively.

The two women handily beat their opponents, with Rice getting nearly 55% of the vote to Carolyn Fries’ 45%. Fries and Rice were running to replace veteran Council member Leslie Curran, who is term-limited, in a district that includes the neighborhoods of Crescent Lake, Euclid Heights, Euclid-St. Paul’s and Meadowlawn.

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