Tampa, FL – Stephen Lytle, the local Neighborhood Association President running for Tampa City Council, has continually expressed that he has ample experience to lead as Tampa’s next City Councilmember. Now he is showing his ability to build relationships with the Mayoral candidates to promote the cornerstone of his campaign, strengthening and empowering neighborhoods.

“I have proactively reached out to many of the mayoral candidates to attain their commitment to investing in our neighborhood empowerment department,” said Lytle. “All of those I have spoken to have expressed interest in building a collaborative relationship with City Council and have committed to prioritizing investment for Tampa’s neighborhoods.”

This collaborative approach was echoed by current City Councilman and Mayoral hopeful Harry Cohen, “I am happy and willing to work with all council members on priorities and projects that are important to our constituents.  After eight years on City Council, I can tell you that the council members offer great perspective on the wants and needs of Tampa residents.”

Stephen Lytle being recognized for his community efforts by Mayor Bob Buckhorn and TPD Chief Brian Dugan

Lytle has already spoken with Mayoral Candidates Jane Castor, Harry Cohen, Mike Suarez, and Topher Morrison.

 “When looking at increasing any staff in the city, one main consideration is the investment in the labor that would provide a return greater than the investment itself. I see no better example of a clear rate of return than investing in Neighborhood Empowerment,” expressed Morrison, “As Mayor revitalizing this essential department will happen within my first 100 days.”

That timing is key as the next Mayor will need to submit a budget to the new City Council within the first 90 days of taking office. Lytle, who was appointed by Councilmember Miranda and has served as the City of Tampa Budget Advisory Chair for the past 3 years, understands has a deep knowledge of the City Budget to draw upon.

“I believe great candidates must not only speak to their experience, but demonstrate a vision and strategy as well,” explained Lytle. “With elections expediting the timeline for the city budgeting process, it is essential that council candidates show their ability to work with and gain the commitment of our future administration, so we can implement a shared vision to move Tampa forward.”

On the campaign trail Lytle has promoted increasing staff for the City’s Neighborhood Empowerment Department, which once had 6 employees focused on neighborhood relations under Mayor Pam Iorio. Today, that number has dwindled to one employee overseeing the city’s 86 neighborhoods. She is retiring in March. As a result, nearly a third of the city’s neighborhoods do not have a neighborhood association representing them. Lytle claims this has disproportionately impacted the low income and minority neighborhoods in Tampa.

“Strong neighborhood associations drive down crime, improve economic development, and assure residents get the essential city services their taxes pay for,” said Lytle, “I have seen the benefits of this in my neighborhood and intend to do everything I can to strengthen our communities across the city.”

Lytle with County Commissioner Sandy Murman receiving the Hillsborough County Neighborhood Awards in 2018

Lytle has shown his commitment to Tampa’s neighborhoods as President of the South Seminole Heights Civic Association. In that role he worked closely with current Council Member and Mayoral hopeful Mike Suarez to bring to fruition Tampa’s first street mural. He also received recognition from Mayor Buckhorn and Police Chief Brian Dugan for his efforts when Seminole Heights was paralyzed by a local serial killer. Afterwards he championed the community and started the Heights Unites Music & Arts Festival, now in its second year. For both of these projects he earned his neighborhood consecutive Hillsborough County Community Arts Awards.

For more information about the campaign please visit www.Lytle2019.com

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