Mayor Jane Castor's Plans For Tampa

Neighborhood Empowerment Plan

Community Connect Opportunities

City Hall can seem like a cold, distant place far removed from the residents we serve. That is why we will have city staff assigned to regularly connect in all neighborhoods throughout the city and personally as your Mayor will hold office hours in our neighborhoods, listening to your concerns and bringing city hall to our residents.

Neighborhood Leadership Development

We want to grow and empower our neighborhood leaders. Our city officials work for you. Under my leadership, the city will collaborate with neighborhood leaders beyond the annual neighborhood leadership academy and develop a broader understanding of how to make our neighborhoods stronger. Our job is uplift communities, help identify the next generation of leaders who we can educate, train, and empower all who want to make a difference in their communities.

Modernizing and Navigating City Services

Consistent and reliable customer service is critical and we want to make sure city residents are able to manage each city service and interact with each department in the quickest and most effective way. We will use technology to our advantage and create an interactive tool where residents are able to take care of services and troubleshoot via live chat features, texting and social media platforms that give residents more ways to communicate with city departments. We will improve the current customer service tracking system to better ensure  all customers service requests are properly and timely being addressed. We will not let any citizens request go unanswered.

Understanding city departments and the services they provide can be very cumbersome. We will institute interactive videos that will describe how each department operates and the vital services they provide along with a clear directory and a staff member to help you reach the correct department, so that each resident has the information they need.

Future Leaders In Action

We can build a better, brighter future in Tampa by molding our leaders of tomorrow today. It is time to get tomorrow’s leaders engaged in the way our community is governed. As your mayor, I will not only maintain the Mayor’s Youth Council for young leaders in grades 9, 10 and 11, but I will broaden this program to engage young professionals in hearing what they want from their city and also help them get a better understanding of local government. Creating these programs also foster and ignite our young professionals to consider a career in city hall. By collaborating with public schools, private schools, higher ed and workforce training we will create a program for educational site visits to city facilities to showcase and understand the plethora of careers and opportunities that exist in city government.

Participatory Budgeting

The City has the responsibility to spend public funds on resources that provide services to our residents, keep our city safe, build and maintain public spaces and parks that enhance our quality of life. Under my leadership, each budget cycle, city staff will not only host neighborhood listening and engagement sessions to highlight various key areas of the budget, but we will also have an online, interactive tool to see “your” budget in real-time for the city. Neighborhoods will have a voice and a seat at the table when drafting the city’s budget. Your concerns, thoughts, and ideas whether in person to city staff or virtually through interactive technologies will be heard. It’s time that our city budget reflects the top priorities for our neighborhoods.

Transportation for Tampa’s Future

Tampa is soaring. Over the last eight years, our city has become known as an economic leader and urban pioneer nationwide. While Tampa should be proud of what we have accomplished, taking the next step to being a worldwide leader requires a first-class transportation system that is affordable, accessible and innovative. It’s time for a transportation system that secures Tampa’s future and a Mayor that can get it done.

Taking the Lead

It is our time to lead on transportation solutions for the future. By acting boldly, we will motivate our state and federal partners to work with us hand-in-hand as we build a transportation system that meets the needs of generations to come. Our ability to connect businesses large and small with the communities they serve through increased walkability, bike-ability, rapid-transit buses, an extension of streetcar routes, rail and ride-share technologies are all key to providing our citizens with the frequent, reliable, and convenient public transportation they deserve.

Investing in Our Neighborhoods

With the passage of the All For Transportation sales tax, HART has an unprecedented opportunity to invest in our future now. Our communities in West Tampa, East Tampa, and Sulphur Springs need reliable bus service they can count on. As Mayor, I will use my seat on the HART board to fight for every neighborhood to have the dependable bus system they deserve through upgrading existing transfer stations and building multimodal hubs with fixed transit lines that connect riders from Westshore to New Tampa.

Expanding Rail

Expanding our reliance on rail is vital to Tampa’s transportation future. It is time to activate the CSX line from Port Tampa to USF, expand the streetcar route to from Tampa Heights through Seminole Heights, and construct a transportation hub to act as the future heart of light rail that connects the Brightline from Orlando to the airport and St. Petersburg.

Improving Public Safety

A transportation system that works for our future starts with keeping our citizens safe. The Tampa Bay region is a nationwide leader in traffic and pedestrian fatalities. It is time we implement real solutions addressing these serious issues. We must make walking and biking safer and more accessible, cut down on traffic fatalities, and protect our pedestrians. Well-designed bicycle routes, safer street crossings, and new and repaired sidewalks, better lighting on our roadways, and reducing the speed limits in high-traffic areas will increase public safety and encourage biking and walking for residents.

Housing Tampa Can Afford

As Tampa’s economy continues to soar, we must ensure that this prosperity reaches every neighborhood of our city. That starts with keeping Tampa livable and affordable for all.

As Mayor, I will immediately convene a working group of policy professionals in the areas of workforce and affordable housing development to work with stakeholders in our communities to craft an action plan based around these solutions to our affordable housing crisis:

  • Focusing on Smart Growth – In order to make it easier for affordable housing to be built, the city should look into re-evaluating and revising city codes that burden development, such as parking minimums, retail requirements, and how to better streamline the permitting process.
  • Expanding Inventory – The city of Tampa currently provides city-owned lots to affordable housing developers. Expanding this program is vital to growing our housing options.
  • Offering Incentives – Under my administration, we will look into providing incentives––whether through tax breaks or zoning exemptions––to ensure that affordable housing makes financial sense for developers and that we can grow our affordable housing stock. That includes requiring developers to include a percentage of affordable housing in neighborhoods that are being renovated.
  • Encouraging Innovation – Solving the affordable housing problem will require creative solutions and bold action. We should actively explore and implement innovative housing solutions that have worked in other world-class cities. By working with local community leaders and listening to the needs of citizens, we will ensure that all options are on the table to meet our residents’ housing needs.
  • Securing State and Federal Aid – Our work at the local level must be supplemented by our fair share of state and federal funds. For too long, Tallahassee has used the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund as their own personal piggy bank. As Mayor, I will take an active and aggressive role fighting to secure those dollars for affordable housing development in our growing city. I will also make it a priority to have Tampa be on the forefront of all federal actions on affordable housing to ensure we receive the funding our citizens deserve.

Sustainability and Resilience for Tampa’s Future

As your Mayor, I will develop and implement sustainability policies that protect Tampa’s air, water, and natural resources. Tampa is blessed with an abundance of productive ecosystems, outdoor recreation opportunities, and miles of beautiful coastline. As Mayor, I will promote policies that conserve natural resources, ensure our coastline is resilient to storms, do our part to reduce harmful air water and air pollution, and work to develop healthy neighborhoods for all Tampa residents.

  • Create a City of Tampa Climate Action and Resilience Plan – Major cities across the country are developing climate action plans to help citizens and elected officials identify risks of extreme weather, sea level rise, heat waves, and other impacts of a changing climate. As Mayor, I will direct my new Officer of Sustainability + Resilience to analyze our city’s climate risks and develop actionable recommendations, and review current city sustainability policies.

  • Tackling Stormwater Management and Sea Level Rise – While the City has taken meaningful steps to increase stormwater funding, many projects remain in the pipeline. As Mayor, I will work with City Council to prioritize funding for stormwater upgrades. I also recognize that flooding and sea level rise threaten many properties in Tampa. Our new City of Tampa Climate Action and Resilience Plan will address the impacts of sea level rise and recommend solutions for coastal resilience, such as the implementation of living shorelines and utilizing green infrastructure where appropriate.

  • Transition City of Tampa Assets to 100% Renewable by 2045 – As Mayor, I will conduct the first-ever energy audit of the largest City of Tampa-owned municipal buildings, as well as city-owned fleets. With that information, we can begin to retrofit the most inefficient assets that are draining energy and costing the City, and take steps towards being fully renewable by 2045.

  • Environmental Justice and Vulnerable Populations – My Administration will focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens live, work, and play in healthy, safe, and clean places. As part of our review, we will map city-owned parks and determine if there are opportunities to expand green space. We will also encourage HART to make the switch to clean, zero-emissions buses and ensure our own buildings have clean, fresh air.