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Ed Turanchik launches ‘New Day’ initiative to increase diversity and inclusion in Tampa

Tampa mayoral candidate Ed Turanchik released a new agenda Thursday aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in communities of color, particularly in East and West Tampa.

“We are calling it our ‘New Day’ agenda, because Tampa’s diverse communities have been left behind, and need a fresh start,” Turanchik said.

He created the agenda based on community input and discussions with people affected.

Under his new plan, Turanchik said if elected he would hire a senior level executive policy director to ensure diversity and inclusion are part of all executive actions.

New Day would also include a housing program promoting home ownership and better access to affordable housing for lower income earners and an emphasis on reducing gentrification.

The agenda would also include a mayor-led urban schools initiative to improve education and outcomes in urban schools. Turanchik previously said he would include public education in his public policy priorities by working to create wrap-around services for struggling students and families that goes beyond the classroom and provides opportunities for at-risk youth.

To address mobility among lower income residents, Turanchik’s agenda also includes an emphasis on local transit needs rather than regional projects. Turanchik’s proposed “Go Zones” would provide transit mobility options within individual communities that would make choosing transit a viable and potentially more attractive choice than driving a private passenger vehicle.

Turanchik would also implement community-based policing strategies and hire a more diverse workforce within the Tampa Police Department. He’d call for an end to all racial profiling.

The final component of Turanchik’s “New Day” agenda would create a “Downtown East Tampa” to create an economic and cultural hub in the heart of the mostly minority community.

Turanchik is also prioritizing better healthcare for low income residents, civil rights protections and criminal justice reforms.

His campaign assembled a steering committee to identify potential administrative priorities that consists of local faith leaders and activists from communities of color to represent those who have been previously underrepresented in Tampa.

Turanchik faces several challenges in the race to replace Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn who is leaving office due to term limits. Those candidates include former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, Tampa City Council members Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez, businessman and philanthropist David Straz, small business consultant Topher Morrison and community activists LaVaughn King and Michael Anthony Hazard.

The candidates face off March 5 in Tampa’s municipal election. If no single candidate receives more than half the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff election April 23.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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