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Mayor Thomas Among ‘Mayors For Hillary’ Touring Florida Focusing On Black Voters

Mayor Thomas take to the highway with Black Mayors to boost Florida's Black Vote

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas among the mayors who participated in the "Mayors for Hillary" bus tour, which stopped in St. Petersburg, Friday afternoon.
African-American mayors bring a message to St. Pete and Tampa: Vote for Hillary

African-American mayors bring a message to St. Pete and Tampa: Vote for Hillary

St. Petersburg, Fla. – A group of African-American mayors and former mayors from across the United States, including Mount Vernon Mayor Richard W. Thomas, have jumped on the bus for Hillary Clinton — literally.

They’re taking a bus around Florida on the “Souls to Polls Train” to take a message to the African-American and Latin communities to elect Hillary.

The group stopped in Tampa Friday morning before coming to St. Petersburg where they toured the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum before visiting individual areas along the historic 22nd Street South corridor. They finished their St. Petersburg visit with a meal at Chief’s Creole Café.

Along the way, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia said, they’d deliver the message and urge people to get out and vote for Clinton.

Mayor Richard Thomas of Mount Vernon, New York urged residents to vote early to avoid dealing with any mishaps on Election Day.

“Right now, it’s an opportunity to seize the moment, go on your lunch break, go at a time where you can bring your whole family and make sure you guys are capturing your moment right here in history,” he said.

In addition to Mayor Thomas, Mayors For Hillary included Mayor Wayne M. Messam of Miramar, Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III of Miami Gardens, Mayor Lauren Poe of Gainesville; Mayor Andrew D. Gillum of Tallahassee, Mayor Thomas A. Masters of Riviera Beach, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

Malcolm Clark & Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin

Malcolm Clark & Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin

With the Mayors For Hillary were Mount Vernon’s Malcolm Clark, William Bell of Birmingham, Alabama, Jacqueline Goodall of Forest Heights, Maryland, Sly James of Kansas City, Lovely Warren of Rochester New York,  Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, Bill Bell of Durham, North Carolina, and former mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Mike Coleman of Columbus, Ohio, Wellington Webb of Denver, Dennis Archer of Detroit, and Ron Kirk of Dallas.

“Finally met Shirley Franklin one of my idols,” Mt. Vernon Malcolm Clark posted on Facebook, “former Mayor of Atlanta and a long list of accomplishments. She dropped some heavy knowledge on me about how to succeed.”

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said the Black vote is crucial to this election.

The “Souls to the Polls Train” pulled into Tallahassee Saturday, bearing the predominantly African-American collection of mayors to encourage Hillary Clinton campaign volunteers and mobilize minority voters for the Nov. 8 general election.

Actually, it was a big blue motor coach that pulled up outside state party headquarters at noon, after participating in Florida A&M University’s homecoming parade. Reinforcing the mayors were members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“It’s all about energizing our base. Going out to energize voters in barbershops, beauty salons and the churches,” said Alvin Brown, former mayor of Jacksonville. “We are making the case — to make sure we take no vote for granted.”

“We’re going around the state to create more enthusiasm among the African-American community to make sure that they do come out and vote,” he said. “We know that the African-American community is solidly behind Hillary Clinton, but you have to go out and vote.”

The expedition began Thursday in Miramar and Miami, then proceeded to St. Petersburg, Tampa and Orlando on Friday. From there the next stop was Jacksonville, where the officials encourage churchgoers to vote on Sunday.

They planned to finish Monday in South Florida, to coincide with the first day of early voting.

The group largely represented safe Democratic states.

“I am here because this is where the action is. Seriously. There’s no need in me sitting in Brooklyn twiddling my thumbs,” said U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York. “I’ve got to be somewhere where I can encourage someone who’s going to be the closer. Florida, you are the closer.”

Levine added that their “Souls to Polls” campaign wasn’t just about getting Clinton’s message to voters.

“It’s also listening to the communities themselves and hearing what they have to say so we can transmit that back to hopefully, President Clinton, number two,” he said.

In addition to the St. Petersburg stop, the bus tour visited Tampa, Gainesville and Orlando.


About AJ Woodson (2375 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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