December 1, 2020
Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up we’ll take a deep dive into the November 3rd election and look at voting trends among African Americans in St. Petersburg.
But first – small businesses are still hurting because of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year many stores, restaurants and bars were forced to close down. The federal government stepped in to provide some aid via the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program to businesses; workers were given some temporarily expanded unemployment benefits.
Now, as the year comes to a close, businesses have re-opened—under some social distancing limits. For small, locally owned restaurants, bars and clubs the number of patrons is way down and there are calls for Congress to step in again with some help for businesses that might have to close altogether if they don’t get another round of federal aid. We’re going to look at the plight of small businesses with Tom DeGeorge, co-owner of Crowbar in Ybor City—a venue where up and coming bands have performed before audiences as large as 400 people. But all that – at least for now – is in the past, until the coronavirus pandemic is behind us.
Next up we’re going to break down the numbers of black voters in St. Petersburg during the recent elections. African American voters can make the difference in close elections between Democrats and Republicans. If black voter turnout is high it tends to benefit Democrats. Pinellas is an important swing county in the state for statewide elections. If Democrats hope to win any statewide election they need to do well in Pinellas County— especially among African Americans. 60% of Pinellas County’s African American population lives in St. Petersburg.
Joining us now is someone who has been studying the numbers. She is Gypsy Gallardo, publisher of Power Broker magazine and TheBurgVotes.com and the forthcoming American Beach News. She is CEO of Urban Market Analytics. Gallardo has been analyzing the black vote in Pinellas since 2004 and she joins us now to talk about it.