USFSP and LocalShops1 to present St. Petersburg mayoral forum

USF St. Petersburg will partner with LocalShops1 to present a general election forum for St. Petersburg mayoral candidates focused on economic development and the concerns of small businesses.

The forum, free and open to the public, will be at 6 p.m., Sept. 10 at the USFSP University Student Center Ballroom, 200 6th Ave. S. A public reception preceding the forum begins at 5 p.m. Complimentary parking will be available at the USFSP garage, 250 5th Ave. S. View campus map and get directions.

William Jackson, Ph.D.

William Jackson, Ph.D.

The forum will feature incumbent Mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman, the two candidates who emerged from the Aug. 27 city primary. William Jackson, Ph.D., USFSP professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Director of the USFSP Entrepreneurship Program, will be among the panelists asking the candidates questions.

The forum will be moderated by USFSP political science professor Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, Ph.D., associate director of the USFSP Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Judithanne Scourfield-McLauchlan, Ph.D.

Judithanne Scourfield-McLauchlan, Ph.D.

The forum is presented by LocalShops1 and USF St. Petersburg and sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area, the USFSP Student Government Association and the USFSP Bishop Center.

“We are pleased to have two of our top academic experts from business and political science participate in this important event,’’ said Vivian Fueyo, interim regional vice chancellor for academic affairs. “This is another great example of the kind of community partnerships and civic engagement USF St. Petersburg values.”

The panelists will ask questions of the candidates, including those submitted by the audience. The other panelists include Mark Lombardi-Nelson, USFSP Student Government President and member of the USF System Board of Trustees; Linda Hersey, freelance journalist; Jack King, Three Birds Tavern co-owner; and Mo Venouziou, LocalShops1 vice president.

“Small, locally owned businesses are the foundation of our local economy, and we are excited to hear the candidates’ plans to help existing businesses prosper and new ones get off the ground,” said Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, founded in 2008 to connect shoppers with business owners and to offer advocacy, support and education to locally owned businesses.

Seating is limited, so reserve your seat today.