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Latin Times magazine recognizes Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor with the Amiga award!

LTM: Tell us about where you were born and your Family History?

Jane Castor: I was born North Tampa, in the old St Joseph’s, Downtown. 1 out of 5 kids and everybody except my sister was born in the old St Joes. My family moved down here from Indiana. My mother told my father she’d marry him on the condition that they moved down to Florida. We were all born and raised here and still live here in Tampa.

LTM: Being the former Police Chief of Tampa, what inspired you to become the Mayor of Tampa?

Jane Castor: Mostly the fact that the city is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in my entire life, and we have one opportunity to create the city we all want to live, work, and play in, a city that well be proud to pass off to the next generation. The possibility of being a part of the future and the creation of Tampa was something I wanted to be a part of.

LTM: Now that your Mayor, what do you feel is going to be your biggest Challenge? (Please interject how people in the Latino/Hispanic community can help)

Jane Castor: I think the biggest challenges are going to be transportation and affordable housing, and the help from the Latino community is in imperative.  One with affordable housing and providing input where it’s needed and some ideas on how it can be provided. And the same thing with transportation. To help create the different forms of transportation, and the cost of transportation, and the transportation routes where are they most needed. Lastly when we create a new bus system, we’re going to have the community change the culture here in the south,  because buses aren’t viewed as a viable source of transportation, its viewed as something that poor people take, and so we have to change that culture and encourage people to use the bus system as a reliable form of transportation.

LTM: Growing up in Tampa, tell us about being raised with the Latino/Hispanic Culture?

Jane Castro: Our city was basically founded by Latinos and the beauty of our city is its diversity, and I think its something we have always celebrated, but we have to continue to pass on the history, and we have to continue to celebrate that diversity and make sure we don’t lose it. Those are the areas I believe are of importance. Making sure that not only do we remember our history, but we pass it on to the next generation.

LTM: What is your favorite type of Latin Music and Latin Food?

Jane Castor: Any kind of Salsa music I love, and Latin food.  Man I’ll tell you I couldn’t narrow it down to my favorite.  I just had Michelle Faedo’s Cuban sandwich yesterday; it’s the best, Colombian last night, had arroz con pollo some black beans and then Ana, my partner makes an incredible ropa vieja, so now that we’re all hungry… It’s difficult for me to pick a favorite its easier for me to name a food I don’t like.  

LTM: What are your goals as Mayor of Tampa, and what can we expect to see in Tampa’s future?

Jane Castor: My goals are to continue the thoughtful development that’s been put in place. We are creating new communities throughout the city of Tampa, we’ve got Ybor City, the changes that are coming there the creation of Water St, the revitalization of our Downtown, what’s going on in the Midtown area, a West Tampa is being recreated, Westshore, they have an incredibly large strategic plan, even the Uptown area. What I would say is were in the midst of creating, in essence, a new City and we need to ensure that everyone takes part in the creation of that city and that everyone gets to benefit in the success and prosperity were sure to realize.

LTM: What well-known person Now or in the past do you most identify with and why?

Jane Castor: My mom and dad, a combination, my dad passed away 20 years ago, but if you asked my mom, she would say I am my dad.

LTM: Who has always been your hero or inspiration?

Jane Castor: I have so many, I would say my family of course, but also men and women of the 1st responders, those people that go out and dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our community.

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