Culture, youth development, environment dominate Lindsay Cross funding requests
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/7/23-Rep. Lindsay Cross, D-St. Petersburg, speaks during session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

At-risk women and youth would get a hand up under some of Cross' requests.

Rep. Lindsay Cross, a St. Petersburg Democrat is asking for $10. 2 million in funding for local projects, which emphasize her commitment to arts and education and the environment, as well as transportation, jobs and public safety. 

Cross filed 12 appropriations requests, with the top ask for expansion of the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Pete, a nearly $1.8 million request. 

The ask represents about 47% of the total need from the state, for capital improvements to renovate the theater’s entry area and expand backstage storage and loading docks. Improvements under the project include a porte cochere to keep patrons dry during rain, and safe by preventing slips and falls. The backstage expansion would accommodate additional truckloads of equipment artists need for various tours, which could attract larger and more diverse performances to the community. 

Cross’ next largest request is $1.5 million for the SailFuture Academy’s career pathways program. That request represents 60% of the total need, with the remaining $1 million coming from philanthropic support. 

Cross has letters of support from Public Defender Sara Mollo, the local Police Athletic League, Family Resources, Pinellas Technical College, TASCO, the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation, Family Support Services of North Florida, CareerSource, the TK Foundation, the YASS Foundation and Gulf & Bay Marine. 

The funds would help pay for a 10,000 square-foot technical education center to provide construction, culinary, maritime and entrepreneurship training to provide at-risk youth and families in Pinellas County a pathway out of poverty, according to the request.

Cross is also requesting $1.1 million for shoreline revitalization at North Shore Park. Another $484,000 would be funded through local government. It would pay for initial planning and permitting for the project. 

Cross also requests $1 million to help increase public transit access for the transportation disadvantaged. The funding represents just 10.5% of the total project cost, with $8.5 million coming from local sources. 

It would benefit the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) for priority disadvantaged populations, including veterans and low-income workers to provide “life-sustaining trips when PSTA is not operating at night.” 

She also asks for $985,000 to expand the Florida Green Jobs Youth Initiative, which aims to address unemployment and under-employment in STEM fields among those in underserved communities in Hillsborough, Orange and Miami-Dade counties. The funding would be used to train individuals in those communities in urban agriculture, hydroponics/aquaculture, renewable energy technologies and sustainability, with certificate programs available in both English and Spanish. 

Cross is also requesting $950,000 for a dock for the Cross Bay Ferry, which connects downtown St. Petersburg to downtown Tampa via Tampa Bay. 

Other requests from Cross include: 

$884,927 for a Jewish safety and security initiative in Pinellas County.

$750,000 for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s Trafficking in Persons — Risk to Resilience Lab.

$480,000 for FRESH Pace: healthy Neighborhood Stores Program.

$400,000 for water quality improvements in Pinellas Park at the Fallingleaf, Foxmoor and Pinebrook North ponds. 

$300,000 for to replace a fire ladder truck for St. Pete Fire and Rescue. 

  $95,000 for the Red Tent Women’s Initiative, which seeks to reduce recidivism by addressing issues such as addiction, mental health, employment and housing through “science-based trauma informed curriculum” for incarcerated women or those at risk of incarceration in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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