Kriseman attends first MLK parade as new mayor - WFLA News Channel 8

Kriseman attends first MLK parade as new mayor

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ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) - As music from high school bands filled Central Avenue, newly elected St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman shook hands with the crowd gathered to watch the Drum Major for Justice Parade in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.

Related content:  29th year for St. Pete's MLK Day parade

 "This is always a great parade, one of the largest in the Southeast U.S. It's  great to have it right here in St. Pete and wonderful to be doing it with my family," said Rick Kriseman, St .Petersburg Mayor.

Support from the African-American community helped him get elected. What does he see as the major issues in the Midtown community?

"We need to bring jobs and good paying jobs to Midtown. We need to bring affordable housing, better public education and lastly, we need restaurants and banks and shopping centers," said Kriseman.

Related content:  St. Petersburg police change pursuit policy

St. Petersburg resident Gladys McNeil approves of Kriseman's first few weeks in office, especially limiting police chases to felonies.

Besides the police pursuit policy, others believe the mayor has to change the perception of the police in some neighborhoods.

"To be honest, the brutality in the police department.  A lot of things have been put on the back burner that need to be addressed appropriately," said Mike Williams.

Related content:  St. Pete mayor takes stand against guns


Kriseman has made key staff appointments to deal directly with Midtown.

"Nicki Capehart, my director of urban affairs, and Deputy Mayor, Dr. Tomalin, they were born and grew up in South St. Pete and they know the community. I've really given them a charge and said you tell me what you need to get it done. Let's get it done there," said Kriseman.

Related content:  St. Petersburg mayor sworn in during outside ceremony

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