Tampa City Council candidate Kelly Benjamin off to Mexico to cover Climate Change Summit

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Also, in the current issue of CL we feature a profile of Benjamin and his candidacy.  There is one correction we want to make to that story. In the piece we write that Benjamin "was arrested for protesting at the Republican National Convention in 2008."

That's inaccurate.  He was working as a reporter when he was caught in a police sweep with several other reporters who were doing their job, arrests that were blasted as being unconstitutional (Democracy Now's! Amy Goodman was caught up in the same sweep).  The vast majority of those arrested - including Benjamin - have had their case thrown out of court, and he and others have filed lawsuits in reaction to those arrests.

CL regrets the error.

Tampa City Council candidate in District 6, Kelly Benjamin, hosted a campaign fundraiser for himself Sunday night at the Refinery in the city's Seminole Heights District, and reports the event brought in more than 100 supporters and over $2,500 to his campaign coffers.

Benjamin will be stepping off the campaign trail for 10 days beginning after the Thanksgiving holiday to attend and report on the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Cancun, Mexico from November 29 to December.  He covered and reported for CL on last year's summit from Copenhagen, and will be reporting for WMNF radio this year.  (Benjamin was one of ten such U.S. reporters to win a fellowship to cover the conference).

In a press release issued on Monday, Benjamin answers his own questions that citizens he says might pose about how his coverage of this event pertains to his run for the Council. When it comes to the issue of climate change, Benjamin writes:

"Cities all over the world have begun assessing their vulnerability to climate change and what effects it will have in the coming years on their communities.  As a coastal city at sea level, Tampa needs to begin having this discussion and taking these steps in preparation for what scientists are predicting: flooding, decreased access to clean, fresh water, and increased intensity of hurricanes.  As a city council member, I will push hard for forward thinking legislation, disaster preparedness, and ways to make Tampa a greener, more sustainable city for the future."

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