"When it comes to luck, you make your own."
-Bruce Springsteen
Hello Neighbors,

We may all be looking for a little luck this month however I am choosing to focus my energy on a different noun, peace.

The recent unprovoked attack on the people of Ukraine shows us what a fragile and volatile world we live in. These last two years have seen us through what many of us thought would be the worst of times only to be faced with the stark realities of a senseless war that rages on with lasting global effects. Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters here in St Petersburg need our support. We must join together not only in our prayers and focused energy on a peaceful outcome that supports the democracy of this sovereign nation but also to donate whatever you can spare to aid in their relief. Located right here in District 2 is the Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church. They have begun a donation drive that will be taking place for the next few weeks. You can donate directly at the church on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10-1 or use their Amazon Smile link to order specific items in need. Click here for more information.

Till next month,

District 2 Spotlight: Tampa Bay Research Institute
Tampa Bay Research Institute (TBRI) in St. Petersburg was founded as an international biomedical research facility by Dr. Akiko Tanaka and the late Dr. Meihan Nonoyama in 1981. This independent non-profit research institute is supported by grants from public and private foundations, businesses, government research awards and—most importantly—by the local community at large. Since its beginning, TBRI has become a respected symbol of international cooperation, melding modern Western science with traditional Eastern folkloric healing in its approach to biomedical research.
From the very early years of TBRI, its scientists realized that they must find ways to assist the body's immune system so it may more effectively protect and defend against serious debilitating diseases such as cancer. Their approach was informed not only by time-tested folk remedies based on herbal and plant-based materials but also by scientifically based approaches. Thus they worked to develop dietary supplements to support the immune system. These steadfast efforts have resulted in the award of over 15 patents to date, which have in turn led to even more exciting research discoveries in recent years.
Over the past several years, TBRI scientists have successfully synthesized a number of bioactive molecules and are now focused on understanding how they may be employed to enhance the healing process. Last year, a patent application was filed for their first synthetic molecule, and another patent application for a second molecule is nearing completion. These exciting discoveries can potentially open new doors for extending the quality of life and health for humanity…and it all began and continues at an accelerating pace here in our own community of St. Petersburg. TBRI is very interested in assisting with advancing the training and development of our nation's future Scientific Leaders! They periodically host open-house presentations, please visit their website www.tbri.org for more information.
2022 Flood Awareness Week: March 7th- 13th
Flood Awareness Week begins March 7th. Living in a coastal community, it is important to take the steps to prepare ourselves for the inclement weather that may arise. Please check out our Flood Safety page HERE to see what you should do before, during, and after a flood.

Helpful tips to prepare for a flood:
  • Prepare a family disaster plan
  • REMEMBER: Homeowners' insurance does not cover flooding. If you do not have a separate flood insurance policy, please reach out to a reputable insurance agent to inquire about getting coverage. It is important to remember that X IS A FLOOD ZONE and even if you are not required to carry coverage by a mortgage holder you are still at risk and it would be prudent to consider protecting yourself.
  • Make an itemized list of the personal property items in your home well in advance. Photograph or video the interior and exterior of your home. Standard flood policies do not automatically provide contents coverage. Review your policy and make sure you are covering your belongings as well as your property. If you flood, a homeowner policy is unlikely to cover contents or temporary relocation expenses.
  • Keep insurance, important documents, and other valuable items in a safe deposit box or waterproof safe.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Find out where you can go to evacuate
  • Make a keep-in-touch arrangement with relatives and friends.

Do you know your zone? Flood maps changed recently - keep up to date HERE

If you have additional questions or concerns about flooding and what the city is doing to make our communities as resilient and sustainable as possible, please feel free to reach out to my office.
Fit City 5K: March 12th
The annual Fit City 5K and 1-mile walk has returned to downtown St. Pete. Healthy St. Pete—an initiative of the City of St. Petersburg and a division of the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department—is hosting the 5th annual event on Saturday, March 12, 2022, with activities starting at 5 p.m. in North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Dr. NE. The event's theme is Glow in the Park, with attendees encouraged to bring their favorite glow gear. 
Fit City encourages the community to come together and promote health and wellness in St. Pete. Information regarding health and wellness opportunities from community vendors will be available. Registration for the event is now open. The registration fee for the 5K race is $20 until March 11 at 11:59 p.m. Day-of registration on March 12 is $25. The registration fee for the 1-mile walk is $5. Racers can register online at healthystpetefl.com/FitCity
The proceeds received from Fit City will be used to provide Play Packs for children throughout the St. Petersburg community. The Play Packs include interactive sports equipment, at-home social and emotional curriculum and ideas for activities that engage kids at home and encourage kids to stay active. To learn more about Fit City or for race registration scholarship information, contact Healthy St. Pete at 727-892-5994
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
If you earned less than $74,000 last year you can have your federal tax return prepared, e-filed, and direct deposited for FREE. You don't need to pay $200 or more for simple tax preparation. IRS-certified volunteers will prepare your taxes and ensure you get the largest refund for which you qualify. You may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or Child Tax Credit (CTC) when you file.

Important Information:
  • All taxes will be prepared by appointment only.
  • Schedule your appointment HERE 
  • Find a list of documents to bring to your appointment HERE
  • Review COVID-19 safety precautions HERE

FREE Remote Tax Prep
Free remote tax filing is available to access from the comfort of your own home. Request information about preparing your own tax return with the help of our certified volunteers HERE
Spring 2022 CareFest
CareFest in St. Pete returns for Spring 2022. The yearly celebration of volunteering and giving back to the community in St. Pete has returned for the month of March. As a City of Compassion, St. Pete knows that once our own needs are met, we must look to the needs of others. CareFest allows community members to make a direct positive impact by helping their neighbors who live, work and play in St. Pete.

Neighborhood and community-based groups, houses of worship, corporate teams, school clubs, businesses, fraternities, sororities and individuals are invited to participate in local weekend projects March 5-27. Find ways to participate at stpete.org/CareFest
94th Avenue Frontage Road Signal Study
On February 22nd representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) presented information to impacted resident groups about an intersection study for the traffic lights at the Gandy Boulevard exit ramp and the 94th Avenue North turn onto the Frontage Road. The frontage road provides an ease of access thoroughfare to Windjammer Condominiums, Glen Lakes Estates Neighborhood, First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, and Crescent Lane Apartments.

The project is in design phase beginning this month with anticipated completion of the design phase occurring in late 2022. Information on construction timelines will be released once available. An immediate change slated to be installed in the next few months is replacement of the no turn on red sign at the exit on Gandy Boulevard, it will be replaced with an arrow signal head that will illuminate to alert drivers when right turns are not permitted.

The PowerPoint from this presentation can be viewed HERE and if you have additional questions please reach out to the District 2 office HERE.
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
The Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Leadership Summit is almost here! The Summit will be held April 5th & 6th at the Hilton Carillon Park Hotel (950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33716) This year's Summit will also host the 60th Diamond Jubilee Reception as well as the Future of the Regions Awards. Business Leaders, Project Managers, Government Staff, Entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in resilience can register to attend at tbrpc.org/summit2022

Don't miss out on your opportunity to provide valuable community input for the continued development of the Regional Resilience Action Plan. Please take the Resilient Communities and Homes survey. The survey asks about your experiences with hurricanes, flooding and hot weather – and your preferences for local action. This provides important feedback to help shape the Regional Action Plan and local programs. Complete the survey HERE and help our community continue to thrive.