Ward 3 Candidates Question of the Week: Community Service
Ward 3 Gulfport City Council Candidates Jennifer Salmon and James Perry answer our second Gulfport Patch "Candidate Question of the Week."
Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, March 13, for a citywide vote to decide who will represent Gulfport City Council in Wards 3 and 1.
To help inform the community, Gulfport Patch will publish a City Council Candidate Question of the Week for both candidates.
Below you will find the answers from Ward 3 Candidates James Perry and Jennifer Salmon.
Gulfport Patch Question of the Week: How have you given back to the community?
"I learned from an early age to give back to my community. As a Girl Scout, I organized service projects. I was president of my school's first recycling club in 1972. I was the primary caregiver for my great aunt who lived with us when she had Parkinson's disease and a live-in companion for my grandmother after she lost her voice box to cancer. I managed school fundraisers and housing for two large regional band and chorus events. Later, I was a Girl Scout Leader in Washington and Oregon as well as president of the Library School student association. I was always involved in environmental and peace groups. I have walked or danced in many marathons for charities.
I moved to Florida in 1995 and served as treasurer and then president of my condominium association in Tampa. I also helped several single older women with transportation to church, doctors, and other needs. I was founding president of the Gerontology and Aging Studies Student Association at USF. I joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and volunteered with the children's program.
I was happy to get involved in the Communities for a Lifetime project for the Senior Center in 2005. In 2006 I conducted focus groups for the city and learned a lot about what matters to residents, especially our own police and fire departments and GEMS.
In 2005, a group of us formed Gulfport Progressives as a subgroup of Pinellas Progressives, which I also helped to found. We worked on issues to preserve our way of life in Gulfport including the Human Rights Ordinance, working towards expanded recycling (finally realized in 2010), protecting our bay from storm water pollution, and keeping home rule. We also worked on the first redistricting state ballot initiative.
In 2008 I began attending Council meetings on a regular basis and along with two other women, we were quite vocal on budget issues so the City Manager asked us to help him on an ad hoc budget committee. We developed the Keep Gulfport Great resident survey for budget priorities. In addition, I filled out a term on the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. I volunteered in Gulfport's Tot Time and T-Ball and gave 100+ hours at Gulfport Elementary school where I also helped gather signatures in favor of a proposed fundamental school program.
I now volunteer at Jamerson Elementary in the classroom and as the coordinator for the semi-annual Clothes to Kids drive. I serve on the board of the non-profit Boca Ciega Yacht Club Youth Sailing program. A group of friends formed Gulfport Organic Landscaping Days in 2010 which turned into Gulfport Growing Greener in 2011. This was a packed event at the Casino. We also put on Green Saturday, a holiday market as an alternative to black Friday at Scout Hall park. I have been an active member of the Area 1 Crime Awareness group since 2009."
"I have been a Gulfport resident my entire life and during the past 33 years have raised my family in this city.
During that time, I spent 11 years coaching and umpiring little league and senior league baseball. I also served on the board of directors and participated in the construction and remodeling of the new Little League building, which included, the addition of the second floor office, concession area and donation of cabinets. My family also participated in many little league opening day parades and fundraisers.
In the late 70's my Uncle and I volunteered to participate in some repairs at Scout Hall.
My wife and I and both of our children attended Boca Ciega High School. Our daughter was a member of the Baker's Dozen and performed many times at the nursing home and annual tree lighting ceremony at Clymer Park. Both of our children and grandchildren have participated in the after school, teen night and summer recreation programs.
We have also had the pleasure and convenience of use of the Gulfport Marina for many family outings.
I feel it is important to continue to participate in supporting a safe and prosperous city and look forward to the opportunity of representing Ward 3 and being the voice for their concerns."