Justin Bean jumps in St. Pete City Council race
Justin Bean has been active in city politics for the past several years.
Appointed by Mayor Rick Kriseman to the Pier Uplands Selection Committee, Bean is also part of the Complete Streets Committee, which seeks to make the city’s streets safer for bikers and pedestrians.
He worked as a consultant on a proposal to redevelop Tropicana Field.
Bean, 30, is also spearheading a fledgling business district for the downtown Williams Park area. He also recently served as chairman of the St. Petersburg Young Professionals.
Jumping in the crowded District 6 City Council race is a logical next step, he said.
“I really just want to continue what I’ve been doing,” Bean said.
Bean also addressed a 2013 DUI conviction in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. He was arrested in Tampa that February with a blood-alcohol level more than .15. The legal limit is .08.
“That was a mistake. It’s something I learned a lot from since then. I made a bad decision, since then, I’ve moved away from that kind of thing,” Bean said.
Court and criminal records show Bean’s driving license was suspended for six months. He was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and served a one-year probation that ended in Sept. 2014.
Before deciding to run for city council, Bean, who lives in Historic Uptown, consulted his girlfriend, friends and family members, with whom he works in the family business, Reusable Transport Packaging, a web-based sales and marketing company in St. Petersburg.
“It’s a big commitment, at least 40 hours a week,” Bean said.
He says the district, which covers parts of Midtown before stretching through downtown and into Old Northeast, needs someone who understands its past as a predominantly African-American constituency and is prepared to lead it into its future as the hub of the city’s economic and cultural renaissance.
“The Trop site, the Pier, the new Police headquarters, the Innovation District, the development planned in Midtown, the Dueces, the Warehouse Arts District. It’s a really important district.
We need someone that has been a part of those things,” Bean said.
Bean is the seventh candidate to announce for a race to replace term-limited council member Karl Nurse. His opponents are NAACP local chapter president Maria Scruggs, neighborhood activist Corey Givens Jr, former Pinellas school board candidate James Jackson, John Johnson, Sharon Russ and Eritha “Akile” Cainion.
Former state senate candidate and attorney Augie Ribeiro has also said he’s strongly considering a run.
The filing period ends in June. The primary is Aug. 29.
Times Researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.