Fiscally Intelligent + Socially Appropriate

Traditional politicians typically pursue whatever is convenient to their own political agendas. Topher is committed to seeing the City of Tampa move forward… because it’s the right thing to do for all of us.

What Topher Stands For

Vision For TampaTransportationEconomySocial JusticeInnovationPublic SafetyHomelessnessCity and County

The Rooftop City

If you try to be all things to all people, you will end up being nothing to anyone. While grammatically questionable, the message is dead on. If you think of successful brands, they don’t try to appeal to everyone in the world, yet they have world-wide success. A city is no different. In fact, if you look at every city of influence you’ll discover that they are each typically known for one powerful concept.

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Advanced Rapid Transportation

There are so many different modes of transportation available for Tampa, I thought it might be easier if I break down some of the various types before I share my thoughts on the solutions:

We are the only major city that doesn’t use its extensive network of waterways for transportation. That’s a disgrace. It sends a message to the world that we aren’t very innovative. Let’s change that. As mayor I would aim to fully utilize our waterways for transportation and mobility. I will forge partnerships with innovative companies who are exploring new technology for water vehicles so that we can effectively connect the communities across our beautiful bay.

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Economy: Attracting the Whales

“How will you attract big companies like Amazon to want to relocate to Tampa?”

I get this question asked a lot, and I’m not sure that’s even the best move to try to get them here. Which would you rather have in our city? A big business like Amazon moving here, or a local small business growing into such power and scale that they compete with, or even overtake the size of companies like Amazon?

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Equality, Inclusiveness, and Embracing Diversity

Nobody has ever been a child and written down a goal to one day grow up and live in affordable housing. “Affordable Housing” may sound nice, but the reality is, this typically equates to finding a forgotten part of our city, building the cheapest, and most institutionalized type of group housing project on the land, void of any landscaping, and then approving the bare minimum amount of funding to be able to say, “I did something.”

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Issue: Innovation

Innovation isn’t a box you check off and say, “Done!” And too many people confuse innovation with technology, thinking that if they focus on the latest gadgets that means they are innovative. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, new technologies are developed every day that aren’t particularly innovative. They are just copies of old tech with shinier boxes.

Innovation is about making things better. And in the process, if you can use technology to enhance that innovation, then all the better for you. It’s important that we have a Mayor who understands this subtle distinction otherwise you will have someone in office who simply throws money toward hi-tech systems and gadgets without analyzing whether or not the technology will make the current system function better. A truly innovative Mayor will first seek to make something better, before throwing money toward building a brand new technology.

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Issue: Public Safety

The single highest priority of the Mayor is ensuring the safety of his or her citizens. This starts with first-class police, fire, & rescue. Check! That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, and we will. And it can start by taking active steps to improve the relations between our police force and minorities. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than a 100% approval rating from the citizens of our great city. Impossible? Maybe. But worthy of pursuit? Definitely. Community outreach, subconscious bias sensitivity training, de-escalation training, and more police on feet and bikes over squad cars.

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Ending Homelessness

Homelessness absolutely can be solved. But it won’t happen if we continue to play partisan games and not listen to the other side. This is one of those situations where the right and the left are both half right, and half wrong. The moment we set aside our personal beliefs and examine the topic from an objective point of view, we can find a solution, and it can happen much faster than most would expect.

The process is quite simple. Make it harder for the homeless to be homeless, and make it easier for the homeless to find homes.

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Cooperation Between the City and County

If you’ve lived in Tampa for more than a decade and have paid any attention at all to how Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa get along, you’ll know that they don’t really get along at all. This has to stop.

As your Mayor, I may not have control over the county commissioners, but I will have an impact. There is an influence of sorts, but without the proper leadership in office to bridge that gap between a typically Republican based county and a Democrat based city, that influence is almost nonexistent or even negative.

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