Juvenile Justice

  • Hillsborough Civil Citation Program:  Successfully encouraged the Chief Judge, State Attorney, Public Defender, Sherriff and Police Chiefs to establish permanent Hillsborough policy expanding the local Civil Citation Arrest Avoidance program to reduce arrests of children, thereby protecting their futures, increasing public safety, and saving taxpayer money. 
  • Florida Civil Citation/Arrest Avoidance:  Helped expand Florida Civil Citation law so children under 18 can receive a Civil Citation for up to 3 misdemeanor offenses instead of an arrest and requires all Florida Counties to establish a program. 

Health Care

  • Elder Care:  Got the County to increase in-home services for seniors to live healthy and with dignity in their homes by allotting an additional $4.5 million to the Department of Aging Services over two years.
  • Dental Services:  Persuaded the County Health Department and two federally qualified Health Centers to advocate for funding, develop and implement a plan to increase dental services for at least 15,000 people at 200% or below poverty, leading to an increase of 26 new dental chairs and the doubling of dental patients.   
  • Behavioral Health:  Helped to get a 2011 Bill to expand Drug Court so 4,000 more non-violent offenders can get needed substance abuse treatment, instead of going to jail. 


  • Fair Chance Hiring:  Persuaded Tampa City Council to pass the Tampa Criminal History Screening Practices Ordinance that removed the question of past arrests to reduce discrimination and open doors to jobs for people with criminal records.
  • Training:  Encouraged Hillsborough Community College to develop 9 Fast-Track Job Skill Certificate Programs and an outreach plan to connect the unemployed with training in job skills needed to obtain employment.
  • Jobs:  Helped establish the Tampa Women/Minority Business Enterprise Ordinance.


  • Affordable Housing:  Got the County to allot $5.125 million in the county budget to increase availability of decent housing affordable for working families and with low incomes.
  • Birth Certificates and IDs: Persuaded Hillsborough County to establish a Birth Certificates and ID Homeless Assistance program, enabling people to get housing and employment to get off the streets. Over 2,800 birth certificates and IDs were given to the homeless in the first four years.
  • Expedited Rent Assistance:  Got Hillsborough County and the Clerk of the Circuit Court to expedite rent assistance checks to landlords within 14 days, instead of several months, to maintain people in housing.

HOPE makes Hillsborough County a better place to live, work, and do business. By investing in HOPE, business leaders will see a return in less crime, unemployment, and poverty, while ensuring a safer and healthier community for all.


Education Reform

  • Suspensions:  Got the School District to establish the Alternative-to-out-of-School-Suspension (ATOSS) program, which supervises and protects the GPAs of thousands of suspended children each year.  Secured a commitment from the school district to not suspend children out of school for tardiness.
  • Reading:  Positively impacted the reading success of thousands of low-income children in K – 3rd grade, and now Special Education, through implementation of a phonics-based reading program called Direct Instruction (DI). Secured $921,000 of state funding for Hillsborough County School District to implement DI in 10 schools and $7.25 million during the 2000 Legislative Session for use of DI in 7 Florida School Districts.  
  • Minority Teachers:  Won employment of a Minority Teacher Recruiter by the School District to hire more Black and Hispanic teachers.

Neighborhood Improvement

  • Rezoning:  Reclaimed Dobyville, a historic residential African-American neighborhood, by reversing 1950 Industrial Zoning to Residential and Mixed-Use Zoning, leading to the development of new and rehab of old housing. 
  • Demolition:  Successfully encouraged the Mayor of Tampa to demolish and clean up the abandoned Belmont Heights Lumber Company, a dangerous health, safety, and fire hazard in the community.
  • Sidewalks:  Convinced the City of Tampa to construct a 1.2-mile sidewalk on 22nd Street in East Tampa at a cost of $65,000, which led to construction of many other sidewalks.
  • Code Enforcement:  Persuaded Tampa City Council to rehabilitate or demolish 200 condemned buildings and mow over 100 gravely overgrown empty lots, resulting in a 50% increase in Tampa Code Enforcement Budget. 
  • Infrastructure:  Obtained traffic signs, street repair, drainage, and upgraded street lighting in Belmont Heights, Ybor City, Tampa Heights and Jackson Heights from Tampa’s Department of Public Works.

Public Transportation  

  • Bus Service:  Encouraged HART to extend late-night bus service until 1:00 A.M. on 8 priority bus routes during the week and 2 extra hours on weekends, as well as construct bus shelters at identified locations.  

OUR ACTIONS: How we make change happen

HOPE’s largest event in the year is our Nehemiah Action, where we bring together over 1,000 people to stand face-to face with our decision makers. In the presence of our people we ask them to commit to make necessary policy changes that will positively impact the issues impacting our families.

Learn more about this event!