City leaders criticize DeSantis veto of Tampa amphitheater project in historically Black area

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Gwendolyn Henderson // Chris Young 6/17/24

At a press conference for Tampa’s new Black History Museum Monday, city leaders and elected officials spoke out against Governor DeSantis’ nearly 1 billion dollars worth of vetoes in the state budget.

One of the items vetoed was a proposed amphitheater in Tampa’s historic Perry Harvey Sr. Park. The park is located at the site of Tampa’s historically Black commercial district that was demolished after integration.

Democratic Representative Dianne Hart sponsored the request for over one and a half million in state funds for the project.

“We’ve looked for that amphitheater for more than ten, almost 15 years. To be able to have a bandstand right here in a community that truly deserves it and needs it, and we cannot understand why he cut it.”

While celebrating the forthcoming museum located directly across from the park, speakers including City Councilmember Gwendolyn Henderson also lamented the DeSantis’ veto.

“I was devastated, it was like a loss. It was almost like a lost the campaign or something. I mean, I just felt so horrible because I was so excited that I could share this with the community.”

Dianne Hart says she plans to request the funds again.

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