Tampa leaders get “Unfiltered” by young professionals

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In the Tampa Bay area, groups of young professionals are banding together to take political action. Emerge Tampa Bay wants to help.

Emerge Tampa Bay is an organization that encourages future leaders wanting to gain political power and address local issues. On Thursday, May 30, they are hosting Unfiltered, the group’s second annual town hall event.

Sponsored by the University of Tampa, the group forum will be at the UT Vaughn Center.

“We no longer want to hear that young professionals can help the community simply by attending meetings,” Emerge Tampa Bay Chair Brian Seel says in a statement. “We want tangible answers that can help us work together with the community, and Unfiltered is a step in the right direction to open that dialog once and for all.”

Organizers say the purpose of Unfiltered is to develop a “question and answer session from policy makers and business leaders about transportation, entrepreneurship, innovation and political engagement,” helping young people become more politically active.

Scheduled to appear are the City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Florida House Rep. James Grant, Councilwoman Lisa J. Montelione of Tampa City District 7 and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman. Tampa Bay Times Editorial Writer John Hill is hosting the event.

According to census data, one in five people in the Tampa Bay region are between the ages of 18 and 34. Emerge Tampa Bay was established to assist emerging leaders ages 21 through 35 by providing access to continuing educational resources, business resources and community alliances. It is a program of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to Unfiltered, the group is planning various political events for 2013, including educational workshops, public policy committees and a speaker series. Anyone interested in becoming more politically involved can join the conversation on Twitter @EmergeTampaBay or by using #Emergeing2013.

Registration for Unfiltered is $25 for Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Emerge Tampa Bay Members, $30 for nonmembers and $35 at the door. Registration includes appetizers and drinks. Advance registration is at Events.TampaChamber.com.

For more information, visit www.EmergeTampa.org, or contact Emerge Tampa Bay Coordinator Ashley Ehrman at (813) 276‐9448.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.