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We Move Forward

The results last week were disappointing. But, it reinforces why Connect Tampa Bay exists - the campaign has ended and Connect Tampa Bay moves forward. And while you’re hard work didn’t mean victory last Tuesday, our work together will be why we win Hillsborough in 2016.


We are going to do it, because we have to. Our future depends on it.


There are a lot of people that are going to make claims about why the referendums in Pinellas and Polk lost, but here’s what we know: If more people knew about the benefits of the plan, it could have passed. That means we need more person to person conversations.


Like Hillsborough did after the 2010 election, Polk and Pinellas will talk to voters and forge a new path. They won’t stop planning for the future.


Hillsborough didn’t stop. Voters elected leaders that decided to move in a new direction. They are forging a new plan and are still on track to go back to Hillsborough County voters in 2016. Voters did the same throughout Tampa Bay -- electing almost every Greenlight and My Ride supporters on the ballot.


Voters want our economy to grow and a transportation system that will help do that. Voters want the economic opportunities for their families that more transportation options will bring. Our research shows that a majority of voters in Hillsborough are prepared to pay for the transportation improvements.


We have to move forward. We don’t have a choice. The status quo would mean a future of being less competitive than places like Houston, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, and other cities throughout the world.


But some are fighting for more of the same already. Yesterday, a Pinellas political committee sent out an email spamming Hillsborough voters saying that we should not move forward. They personally attacked the Mayor of Tampa for supporting what a majority of his citizens support.  Our opponents won’t stop with the negativity.


But, lets be clear, our opponents are not against spending.  They have met privately with Hillsborough County leaders and lobbied to spend our tax dollars on a $2.8 billion toll road through rural eastern Hillsborough County.  


This is the choice we face — if we don’t stand up, then some will try and pave over the amazing place we live in will win out over plans that would create economic opportunity across the county through transportation options.


It’s time to get out there and win the next one from the ground up. Person to person. Communicating the benefits to everyone through Hillsborough County. It starts by getting together to share ideas.


Join us for a Happy Hour at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, November 19 at Holy Hog in Downtown Tampa to hear more about the race and talk about how we can move forward.


We’ll be sending more about future meetings and opportunities to join and take a leadership role in Connect Tampa Bay. The future depends on our work.


Thank you for everything you’ve done. Thank you for everything you will do to make the next two years a success.



Kevin Thurman
Executive Director
Connect Tampa Bay

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