2019 » General Municipal Election » City Council Member District 3
Orlando A. Acosta
% of Votes
Currently the founder of UMD International, a military defense consultant. Previously a defense contractor and an active duty Air Force officer who served both overseas and at USCENTCOM.
Regis High School (NYC) 1988, Bachelors Degree from the United States Air Force Academy 1992, Masters Degree in Business Administration from Touro University International 2005.
Former President of the Rotary Club of St. Petersburg Sunset. Member of the St. Petersburg High School Advisory Committee and St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. Boy Scout adult leader._
All candidates in this race were asked the same questions by the League of Women Voters.
Do you support using additional city resources to make it more attractive for the Tampa Bay Rays to stay in St. Petersburg? (Multiple choice)
1. Strongly oppose
3. Neither support nor oppose
5. Strongly support
What policies and programs do you think the City should implement, or improve, to attract living wage jobs, support small businesses and generate sustainable economic development? (400 character limit)
In addition to economic incentives, we need to make serious investments in our public transportation system to address these issues. Making it easier to get to work, removing the need for a car, and connecting the different parts of our city and region would sustain economic growth and encouraging private investment in the kind of businesses that pay living wages.
What are the City’s most important public safety priorities? How do you intend to address them? (400 character limit)
We need to continue work on ending the wave of juvenile auto theft in Pinellas. I support increased after school and summer activities. These programs would also have a positive ripple effect in our neighborhoods and schools, cutting down other types of crime. We should also renew our focus on pedestrian safety by promoting complete streets and alternative transit methods.
Rate how well the City is balancing resource allocation between downtown and the neighborhoods and business districts in outlying communities. (Multiple choice)
2. Below average
4. Above average
How would you work with city departments, businesses and the community to create more affordable housing and limit the displacement of residents? Where would funding for these efforts come from? (400 character limit)
We have the tools to address this problem - economic incentives, direct investment, rehabbing homes, and grants to community organizations. We could change zoning laws to maximize use of already busy corridors and increase density without compromising the character of our quiet neighborhoods.
The goal of St. Petersburg’s “Complete Streets” plan is to provide more options for public transit, bicyclists and pedestrians. What is your position on this strategy? What, if anything, should the City do to further address local and regional transportation needs? (400 character limit)
The Complete Streets initiative is a great first step for St. Pete. I would ensure it includes all neighborhoods and mobility options, and seamlessly blends with our existing bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure and PSTA service. Facilitating those connections will create jobs and increase market access, promote economic development, and increase prosperity in all our neighborhoods.
What actions should the City take to improve resiliency? (In the short term, that would mean the City’s ability to handle weather-related disasters. In the long term, that would mean covering the ongoing costs of repairing and maintaining the city’s sewer/stormwater management systems.) How would you fund these efforts? (400 character limit)
As a coastal city, we have everything on the line when storms hit. The City can take on larger projects such as sea wall renovation and stormwater routing through its new sustainability and resiliency division. I support our increased investment in water management utilizing stormwater revenue, and believe repair incentives to property owners are another important element to fixing the problem.
What are the two most important issues affecting your district? If elected, what specific actions will you take to address them? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)
District 3 is especially vulnerable to sea level rise. We should be building infrastructure to protect against damage while limiting our environmental impact so we aren't contributing to the problem either. We also need to connect District 3, and all of our districts with a comprehensive, multi-modal, public transportation investment policy.
If elected, what will be your top two priorities for the city, and what would you do to address them within your first six months in office? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)
My first priority would be to fund renewable energy and resilient infrastructure. My second priority would be to reinforce our new campaign finance ordinance, ending legalized bribery and corruption which undermine our search for St. Pete-centered solutions to our transportation, housing, and climate challenges.