Legislative Committee

Business and Professional Women (BPW)/ St. Petersburg-Pinellas Mark National Equal Pay Day with 17th Annual “Unhappy Hour” 81 Cents on the Dollar is Not Enough

WHAT:  Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas will hold its 17th annual “Unhappy Hour” on Tuesday, March 31, the symbolic day that the average woman in the United States earns the same amount of pay that her male counterpart earned in the previous calendar year.  According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2019, the average woman makes just 81.6 cents for every dollar a man is paid, reflecting a gap that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over the course of a career.  For full-time, year-round workers, median salaries showed that women earned an average of $45,097 compared to men’s $55,291 in 2018 – the reason for the “Unhappy” Hour. Equal Pay Day has been historically recognized with Proclamations from the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County elected officials.  The event is free to the Public.  No RSVP is necessary. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available. For more information, visit www.bpwstpetepinellas.org.

WHEN:  Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 5:30 PM. to 7:30 PM.  Brief remarks at 6:15 PM.

WHERE: Rococo Steak, 655 2nd Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL  33701

WHY:  When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, women were earning an average of 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. Today, while women hold roughly half of all jobs, and their earnings account for a significant portion of the household income that sustains the financial well-being of their families, they still experience a gap in pay compared to men’s wages. For women of color, the pay gap is even greater. At the current rate of change, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has estimated that the wage gap will not close until 2059.

About Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas

Founded in 1919 at the national and state levels, and in 1966 at the local level, BPW crosses generations, occupations and political parties. BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas is the local chapter of BPW/Florida, which is affiliated with the national BPW Foundation. BPW’s mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. General membership meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House in downtown St. Petersburg. www.bpwstpetepinellas.org.

 

Mayor Rick Kriseman: The State of the City

Join us March 5 when we welcome St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as he presents “The State of The City,” an update on the activities, events and latest happenings that affect not only the citizens of St. Petersburg but the entire Tampa Bay Region. Of particular interest to the Business and Professional Women, Mayor Kriseman will address the local economy and upcoming opportunities for all of us to participate in the future of St. Petersburg for the remainder of his term and beyond.

Show Up and Show Your Support for the ERA

BE A PART OF HISTORY!  With the ratification of Nevada in 2017 and Illinois in 2018 there is a renewed effort to get the ERA passed in the remaining 3 states needed. Here in Florida, BPW is joining forces with the League of Women Voters and the Athena Society to get this key element of the #1 Plank of our Public Policy Platform passed. Our strategy is to collect resolutions from cities and counties advocating the addition of those crucial 24 words to the Constitution of the United States. This is a bipartisan effort focused on pay equity and to address the fact that women are underrepresented in the board room, government, sports, and throughout the working worlds most high paying professions.

BPW / St. Petersburg-Pinellas has the opportunity to be a part of this effort THIS WEEK on Thursday, August 15 at 2:45 PM at our City Council Meeting.  Join your sisters in the gallery to witness this moment in history. If you wish to speak in support of the resolution, please contact info@BPWStPetePinellas.org for more information. Members, if you attend, be sure to wear your BPW name tag.

 

A copy of the proposed resolution can be found here.

August 1: Women’s Rights to Reproductive Healthcare in Florida

Talking about sensitive social issues, such as unintended pregnancy, can be tough. Knowing the facts can help in conversations with those unsettled by topics like teen sexuality or abortion. Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida, will lead a discussion on the state of women’s access to reproductive health care, including abortion care, in Florida and nationwide. She will discuss recent activities in Tallahassee and Washington as they relate to reproductive rights and what we could face in a post-Roe world.

Amy Weintraub is the Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida and is a leader on the statewide Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition. She was one of the leads for Women’s March St. Pete 2017 and is an active with the League of Women Voters, the National Organization for Women, and the South St. Petersburg Democratic Club. A seasoned organizer, Amy has worked most of her adult life identifying, educating, and activating citizens toward social justice. Prior to moving to Florida in 2015, Amylived in her home state of West Virginia where she led efforts within organizations such as WV FREE (West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equality), Covenant House of WV, and Planned Parenthood. Amy lives in St. Petersburg with her spouse and two children.

 

BPW / St. Pete Pinellas attended International Women’s Day Event hosted by USFSP

On Thursday March 22, Membership Chair, Tiki Bates and Equality Day Tea Chair, Lily Alcott attended Defending Women’s Reproductive
Rights and Freedoms: The Curious Case of the Macedonian Abortion Law of 2013 at USFSP at the invitation of member and USFSP Professor, Judithanne McLauchlan. Tiki and Lily had a table where they had the opportunity to not only hear the speaker Professor Dr. Karolina Ristova-Aasterud from Macedonia but also to meet and speak with many of the attendees about our mission.

Successfully Balancing Your Career and Your Community

On January 18, BPW welcomes Amy Foster, St. Petersburg City Council, District 8, who will discuss how working women can succeed, how to get involved in the city and how the small business enterprise ordinance has changed. Amy is a Past Chair of the City Council.  Professionally, Amy is the Executive Director of the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay, in which capacity she oversees fundraising and day-to-day operations for the Foundation. She previously served as the National Collaborative Network Manager for the EdLab Group’s National Girls Collaborative Project, a national project focused on gender equity and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Ms. Foster also worked for nearly ten years with Girl Scouts of West Central Florida as the Director of Girl and Adult Leadership Development. Ms. Foster is very active in the community, serving as Community Vice President for the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin, a member of the STEM Advisory Board for Girls Inc. of Pinellas, former Vice President for St. Pete Pride, founding board member of the Industrial Arts Center in Gulfport and member of the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association, among others. Ms. Foster received her BA in psychology and sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana.

Please Register by Tuesday 1/16 – Click Here

Charlie Justice Shares His Annual County Commission Update With BPW

Make your reservation now as BPW welcomes back the Chairman of the Pinellas County Commission for what has become an annual update to the members and guests of BPW. He’ll share the commission’s successes and challenges and how we can participate in countywide efforts to improve our community.
Approachable. Compassionate. Home town boy. All words used to describe Charlie Justice. One only has to spend five minutes with Charlie to know that he is not your usual politician.
Husband to Kathleen for twenty years and proud father of two young daughters Erin and Allison, Charlie grew up the youngest of five children in the heart of Pinellas. As a student at Boca Ciega High, Charlie excelled in academics, but really thrived at putting smiles on his classmates’ faces. To this day, his colleagues and friends admire his optimism and his ability to bring out the best in any person or situation.
After high school, Charlie attended St. Petersburg College, and the University of South Florida. It was important to him to stay close to his family, and build a life in his beloved hometown. During his time in college, he saw Pinellas County grow at an exponential rate. St. Petersburg and the bay area was becoming a metropolis in Florida, and along with that came typical growing pains. Roads were becoming congested, beaches overcrowded, and crime was on the rise. He decided that it was time to get involved and give back to the community that had given him so much. He became active in local politics, eventually becoming the legislative aide to Representative Lars Hafner. His admiration for our area grew, and so did his calling to public service. Five years later, Charlie earned the opportunity to represent us as a State Representative and later as a State Senator.
Tallahassee is a far different place from Tampa Bay. But Charlie relied on the good people of his district that he has come to know and love. He has succeeded in strengthening rights for our military, bringing home millions in beach re-nourishment funds, standing strong for our natural resources and protecting our coastline from near shore oil drilling and mandating stronger consumer protections for the safety of our families. His constituents demanded more attention and money for our schools, and Charlie delivered. To this day he remains a tireless advocate for education and teachers. His district was concerned about every vote being counted and Charlie delivered again, strongly supporting the switch to paper ballots. He continues to stand up for fair and ethical elections, working to rein in frivolous campaign spending by special interests and raising voter confidence by ensuring that everyone has the right and ability to vote.
Charlie credits his open door policy and community involvement for his success. He is constantly in the community, talking to nurses, teachers and others on the front lines who can offer real solutions to state wide problems. It is because of them that Charlie advocates so effectively for our most vulnerable. He has called for stricter regulations on nursing homes and harsher penalties for elder and child abuse. He supports measures to make our foster care system safer and programs that get homeless off the street. He has brought home funds for community organizations such as PARC, Gulf Coast Family Services, Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, and Vincent House, just to name a few.
Charlie has continued that same philosophy on the County Commission. He is working with many community partners addressing the poverty issues in Lealman, Midtown and throughout Pinellas. He worked to pass ordinances providing relief for wage theft victims, providing assistance to human trafficking victims, and expanded Pinellas’ human rights ordinance.
Charlie’s leadership was recognized by his peers when they selected him to serve as Chairman of the Pinellas Commission. He also has served  as Chair of the Tourist Development Council, the Pinellas Economic Development Council, and in leadership positions of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco- Pinellas Board, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Pinellas Historical Preservation Board.
Legislating aside, Charlie’s best attribute is his compassion for the working families who are the heart and soul of his community. He empathizes with those who, like him, worked to make their own way and provide for their families. He has an uncanny ability to identify with almost anyone he comes across, and usually ends the conversation by sharing a laugh and a smile. It is this capacity to connect and deliver that makes Charlie an effective leader, and a role model for others looking to serve their community.

A LONG History of Public Service: Wisdom from a Woman in Politics

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet C. Long is no stranger to public service.  Join us when she visits BPW on Thursday October 18 to share her lessons, stories and challenges as a female politician for over four decades. She’s held a number of positions throughout our local and state government, taking an active role in shaping public policy.

Her career in government began as a Legislative Aide working in the Old Capitol. The year was 1975 – before word processing, computers, copy machines, fax machines and electronic communication. It was a time when the legislative process was all done by hand.
In 1980, Janet served as the Assistant to the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation until 1986 when she was appointed by Commissioner Bill Gunter as the Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the Florida Department of Insurance with primary day to day management and oversight of the Regional Office located in Pinellas County. She was reappointed by Commissioner Tom Gallagher and again by Commissioner Bill Nelson.
In 2002, Commissioner Long was elected to the Seminole City Council and elected again in 2004 without opposition. In 2006, she was elected as a Democrat to the Florida House of Representatives from District 51 and served through 2010. In her first year of office, she managed to pass five out of her six bills. She has created an electronic newsletter which keeps her constituents abreast of her activities and those of the legislature. In an effort to ensure that her constituents have a voice, she has held various town hall meetings in her district and around Pinellas County on property taxes, the Lealman fire district and the Pinellas Park Water Management District.
While a member of the Florida Legislature she served on the Military & Veterans Affairs Policy Committee; the Economic Development & Community Affairs Policy Council; the General Government Policy Council; the Insurance, Business & Financial Affairs Policy Committee; the Education K-12 Committee and the Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Committee.
Janet Long was elected countywide to a seat on the Pinellas County Commission in 2012. Commissioner Long serves on the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Board of Directors, the 2016 Pinellas County Charter review Committee, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the Health and Human Services Leadership board. In addition to her Pinellas County Board of County Commissioner appointments; she also serves as Vice President for the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, and is on the Largo Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Clearwater Central Catholic Advisory Board.

Meet the Candidates: St. Petersburg City Council, District 6

Join us on October 5 as we welcome the candidates for St. Petersburg City Council: District 6. This district which includes the core of downtown St. Petersburg from I-275 east to the water stretching from Old Northeast south to Colony Point has been served by outgoing city council member Karl Nurse. In an incredibly close primary election, 2 candidates emerged to vie for this very important position: Gina Driscoll and Justin Bean. We are delighted that both candidates have accepted our invitation and have an opportunity to share their vision for not only District 6, but St. Petersburg as a whole.

Click Here to Make a Reservation 

Gina Driscoll

Gina has lived in St. Petersburg for over 10 years and is dedicated to making the city a better place to live, work, and raise a family for all of our residents. That’s why she’s endorsed by outgoing District 6 City Councilman Karl Nurse.

She is the President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, and has led several projects to improve our neighborhoods including the Clean Waterways Project, renovations at the historic Shuffleboard Club, and donation drives for food, diapers, and other necessities of Daystar Life Center. She has also spoken before City Council regarding issues important to residents, such as the Al Lang Stadium referendum, to ensure that their voices are heard.

Gina has also worked to improve the business climate in St. Petersburg for both large and small business. She serves on the Board of the Downtown Business Association, the Organizational Committee of the Central Avenue Council, and is a member of both the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. While she worked in advertising for the Tampa Bay Times and other local firms, Gina built strong relationships with local businesses and helped them develop successful marketing strategies. In 2015, she also served on the city’s Urban Construction Best Practices Task Force.

She understands the importance of tourism as an economic driver in St. Petersburg. She’s been a leading voice supporting the Sunshine Street Team which is a group of volunteers who help tourists have a better experience in St. Petersburg.

 Justin Bean was born and raised in the St. Petersburg area. He is currently the Business Development and Sales Manager at Reusable Transport Packaging, a growing web based sales and marketing company headquartered in Downtown St. Petersburg. Bean currently Chairs the Williams Park Partnership and SmartBurg. He has served as Chair of SPYP in 2016, was appointed by the Mayor to the Pier Uplands Selection Committee, and currently serves on the City’s Complete Streets Committee. Previously, he served as Economic Development and Arts Chair for SPYP and continues to work as a mentor and serve as Board Chairman for SailFuture, a local Nonprofit that helps keep at risk men from returning to the juvenile justice system.

Election and Installation of Officers for 2017-2018

Elections are always an exciting time for our organization. We are fortunate to have a diverse and strong membership who believe in the mission of BPW and the importance of a strong leadership team.  BPW/SPP is entering an exciting time with new leadership this summer at the state level from our local organization.

Our mission of building powerful women professionally, personally and politically remains as important now as it did 50 years ago.  We encouraged all members to be a part of electing our new leadership.  On April 6 we did elect our officers for 2017-2018.  Tami Simms then spoke about The Education Foundation of the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

Then on April 20, BPW/FL President-Elect Alizza Punzalan-Randle installed the new officers for 2017-2018: Liz Illgen, President; Sheila Barry-Oliver, President-Elect; Jane Byers, 1st Vice President; Gretta Paige Bellas, 2nd Vice President; Lily Alcott, Secretary; and Jill Wenner, Treasurer.  Tami Simms will serve as Parliamentarian.