Call To Action: Tampa Bay Region "Luckiest Place,' Vote "Yes' For Mobility

The importance of urban growth and creating greater mobility captured the attention of leaders from around the Tampa Bay region as they gathered in a Congress of Regional Leaders on April 16 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Keynote Speaker Robert Grow, founding chair of Envision Utah, addressed the assembly to talk about his state's experiences building consensus on growth and to encourage excitement about the unique opportunities high-speed rail could bring to the region.

"You are the luckiest place in America right now," Grow says. "This is your opportunity to win or lose for Florida big time."

Improving mobility across the Tampa Bay region is critical to its ability to thrive in the global marketplace, says David Singer of Moving Hillsborough Forward, a county advocacy group working on behalf of the 1 percent surtax that will be on the November ballot.

"Tampa needs increased choice when it comes to mobility options. Here in Hillsborough County we don't want to be relegated to driving everywhere anymore,'' Singer says. "Forbes magazine ranked us 60th out of 60 in terms of worst commutes in the country. People are making judgments about our area based on that piece.

"It's an important issue not only to attract jobs and give people mobility, but to keep our young people here. When corporations look for headquarters or relocations, the first question they ask is, 'What does the transportation landscape look like?' We don't want local talent leaving the region. Increasing numbers of our graduates are going to Charlotte, Phoenix, Denver. These cities are poaching our talent because they do have light rail and modern transit."

SunTrust banker Dan Mahurin, chair of ONE BAY, says, "Now it's up to each of us – both citizens and city and county elected officials alike – to do the hard work, make the right choices to turn this vision into a reality for our children and the generations to follow."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: David Singer, Moving Hillsborough Forward; Dan Mahurin, SunTrust

Signup for Email Alerts