As an interfaith leader in St. Pete, I am moved by the mayor’s and Rays’ Gas Plant plan

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Mayor Ken Welch raised the Tampa Bay Rays flag over City Hall on Tuesday, the crowd cheered, smiled and celebrated. The fall breeze was blowing, and our team was in the playoffs for a fifth straight year. The excitement reflected the team’s play on the field and the mayor’s leadership in delivering a deal that addresses past promises to the African American community and St. Petersburg residents. The Rev. J.C. Pritchett II [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ] This deal is not a cure for the affordable housing shortage or poverty; no plan in this country’s history has created that much-needed cure. However, it does address many concerns that have been raised by our organization, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Florida, as far back as 1986. New arrivals and well-intended allies with savior complexes must realize that city natives and former Gas Plant residents are not interested in reparations or a handout but rather an opportunity to fully participate in entrepreneurship and wealth creation at the coming redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site. Today, every faith leader should be encouraging residents to seek welding, plumbing, landscaping and construction training and to create businesses that can compete for vendor and contracting...