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DeSantis’ veto list includes renovations, upgrade for Carter Woodson Museum

Bill DeYoung



St. Petersburg's Dr. Carter G, Woodson African American Museum opened in 2006. Photo provided.

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $91 million legislative budget last week, he also exercised his right to veto certain line-items he deemed superfluous.

Among the prospective funding that met the chopping block was a $250,000 allocation for St. Petersburg’s Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.

Established in 2006, the 4,000-square-foot museum is in the Jordan Park neighborhood.

Line item 3207A, which had been introduced as House Bill 4599, would have expanded the facility to more than 8,000 square feet.


State Sen. Darryl Rousson, D-St. Petersburg, a staunch supporter of the Woodson Museum, sponsored it as Senate Form 2411.

“While I share some disappointment with the backers, and the community that has supported the Carter Woodson Museum and its legacy, the governor was more than thoughtful in many of the vetoes, as well as the line items he allowed to go through,” Rousson said.

“It does not deter me or others as to how important it is to tell the cultural history – so we’ll come back at it again next year.”

The City of St. Petersburg purchased the building from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority in 2015. The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits, along with artifacts and memorabilia relating to the city’s rich African American history, and hosts area art shows and other community events.

The funding request called for “capital equipment to operate as a museum to include secure storage for art and artifacts, as well as a hanging system, exhibit cases, and other museum-related equipment.”

The idea, said Rousson, “was not only expansion, but to enhance the infrastructure and improve on it, so that it could have more exhibits, more quality of exhibits, and continue the 13-year history of telling the story of a community. Black history is all of our history.”

He noted that Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall was also the recipient of a line-item veto, to the tune of $500,000.

The Legislature’s Committee Week starts Sept. 16, Rousson pointed out, and not long after that they’ll begin to build a new budget for 2020-2021.

“It took texting-while-driving eight years to pass,” he said. “I’ve learned in this legislative process that progress sometimes comes incrementally, or on the second or third shot. So you just keep trying.”







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  1. Avatar

    Bill Vogel

    June 24, 2019at3:09 pm

    Raise the money then. If people want it, it should be easy, right?

  2. Avatar

    jerry winfeldun

    June 24, 2019at4:09 pm

    seemingly….the staff rides around in Mercedes Benz cars…likely not a good look for funding sources

  3. Avatar

    Barbara Schnipper

    June 24, 2019at4:16 pm

    Despite being upcounty residents, we strongly support the Dr. Carter Woodson Museum and hope it will continue to thrive. We have attended many wonderful public events arranged by Terri Scott, it would be a shame not to fund upkeep and expansion of the museum.

    Barbara Schnipper, Safety Harbor
    Greg Rosasco, Holiday

  4. Avatar

    Ericka Guy

    June 24, 2019at6:30 pm

    Bill I wonder if you would say the same if it were The Dali Museum or for a more similar but woefully different comparison, would you suggest the same if it were The Holocaust Museum? Just because our school systems in the U.S. choose not to acknowledge all of American history, the major contributions of people of non-white races and ethnicities, as well as the inhumane treatment of people of color throughout the past and present does not mean that these things didn’t happen. Many of the unknown achievements should be celebrated because without those individuals we wouldn’t have some of the groundbreaking inventions of things we use every day. As well, without fully acknowledging the atrocities and inequities throughout the past and present, we could never hope to see a better future for generations to come.

  5. Avatar

    Ericka Guy

    June 26, 2019at11:03 am

    Unless you are Ms. Lipsey-Scott’s spouse or personal accountant, her finances are none of your business. If you work for a company that wants to grow and expand, according to your logic you should be able and expected to cover the millions of dollars that is necessary to fund that expansion. Your racism Jerry and Bill is palpable as people of color are just as deserving of things of material value as you are as we work and manage our finances responsibly just as well if not better than you do. Your jealousy is as sad and immature. Is a Mercedes Benz a vehicle you can only dream of because it’s financially out of reach for you? And number three, how do your contributions to the St. Pete community compare to hers? I’ll give you a bit of context for your comparison.

    Terri Lipsey Scott’s civic engagements have included memberships in the Junior League, Women of the Word, St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Inc., St. Petersburg Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., ALPHA HOUSE, SPC Women on the Way, and Colours of Culture. She has also served on local boards including the Aids Services Association of Pinellas, the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP, Community Alliance, Convener of St. Petersburg Together, St. Petersburg College Women on the Way, Alpha House, the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum and the One City Chorus.

    She is an alumnus of Savannah State University and Eckerd College. She is a graduate of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2008 having served as the community project co-chair and visionary. Scott is also a retired administrative officer having served the City of St. Petersburg’s Office of the Mayor and City Council from 1987 – 2014. She is currently the Executive Director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum.

    • Avatar

      Jerry winfeldun

      March 15, 2020at2:32 pm

      I suppose a nerve was struck, however, it still appears this community center (which it was) is being called a museum. After all this time, still does not have a credentialed curator, nor a permanent collection, and is not able to raise enough interests, and funds to be self-sustaining. I personally know, people who live in Jordan Park who are not included in the events held there, nor encouraged to attend, which likely explains the pressure to relocate away from J. Park to other side of the interstate–Mainly in attempt to attract the new St. Pete gentrified crowd. Given your effort to defend the executive director’s resume, which I too applaud, speaks further is to why with all this experience and talent, she not able to retain/recruit a larger funding pool, staff and a giving board. That is what you’ll find at both the Dali and the Holocaust Museum since you seek comparisons. And finally, perhaps you could attract more interests in a museum that simply didn’t seek to highlight how poor people of color have been treated, but to focus on the talent, achievements and accomplishments. Aside from this…everything else are excuses.

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