Unlike all the other new candidates running for Tampa's City Council next March, Sara Romeo has actually served as a Legislator previously.
It was just one stint in the Florida House, representing District 60 from 2000-2002. Since then she's served as the executive director for Tampa's Crossroads, which works with people with chemical dependency and mental health issues.
When asked about the recent controversy du jour in Tampa regarding pandhandlers, she said she doesn't think it's good for people to be out on the road asking for money, labeling it a "sad issue" that the city and county need to deal with. She said she'd consider it punitive to simply ban people from doing so when it might be the only source for some people to survive, but said that the larger issue is that there isn't enough transitional, nor affordable housing in Hillsborough county.
"We see people all day long were double income families that could afford maybe $700, $800 a month for rent plus all the other bills..now maybe theyve lost 1 income, maybe 2 and are living on unemployment and that affordable housing is really drying up and disappearing quickly," she says.