Monday, June 24, 2019

Suncoast Sierra Proud to Be Part of St. Pete Pride!

For 6th Consecutive Year, Suncoast Members & Allies March & Table Together at Biggest Pride Event in Florida

Environment Florida Executive Director Jennifer Rubiello (center) helps carry our "float" in the St. Pete Pride Parade
St. Petersburg, Florida is considered by many to be one of the coolest places anywhere. Two reasons why that’s true: It was the 1st Ready for 100 city in the SE U.S., back 2 ½ years ago, and it boasts the biggest Pride events in Florida, second only to Atlanta in the Southeast.
Everybody loves Maggie & she loves them back

The local Suncoast Sierra Club has participated in St. Pete Pride ever since the FL Chapter moved to a net zero office in the Grand Central District, long the heart of Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community. This City embraces important values, such as equality and clean energy, and is led by a Council with 3 of its 7 members belonging to the LGBTQ community. Suncoast demonstrates its support by marching in the St. Pete Pride Parade, attended by ¼ million, but we don’t stop there. The next day we exhibit at Pride Fest, an event two blocks from our office. 

This year was no different, with a big crew carrying a “float”, Flintstone-style, led by a decorated, electric Chevy Volt. Our theme was “Animals are Cute, Highways Pollute”, bemoaning the planned creation of 3 new toll roads by the FL Legislature that would pave over much of Florida’s remaining wilderness – something we’re determined to fight every step of the way. Our marchers wore forest animal masks to help make our point. 
Suncoast Chair James Scott and his faithful four-legged companion Maggie are ready to roll with our wagon train
At Pride Fest Sunday we talked to people about the #Readyfor100 Campaign, which won its 4th commitment in this county earlier that week. Our hearty crew endured microwave-level heat & humidity to get 330 postcards completed, most directed to one of our next #Readyfor100 targets: the Pinellas County Commission or the new mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor. Mayor Castor is the first openly Lesbian mayor in the SE U.S. She's pledged to soon follow the lead of St. Pete and make her city Ready for 100 as well. 
Our stalwart Pride Fest volunteers brave the heat

Photo by Dylan Todd, Watermark 
We’re proud to have so many friends and allies in a city where the Pride flag flies from City Hall every June. Being Ready for 100% clean energy for all goes right along with the values we all embrace for our families – all of them. 

Kathleen Beckman of Clearwater shows how many postcards have been filled out at Pride Fest. Good work, y'all!

Phil Compton, Senior Organizing Representative
Sierra Club's FL Healthy Air & Ready for 100 Campaigns:
Clean Energy & Clean Transportation for All 
1990 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(o) 727-824-8813, ext. 303      (c) 813-841-3601