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Sarasota, FL 34236

For Immediate Release: February 29, 2012


Sarasota, FL: District 1 City Commissioner Willie Shaw and District 1 County Commissioner Carolyn Mason will host a community forum Thursday, March 8, 2012 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Harvest Tabernacle, 209 N. Lime Avenue. The forum will feature panel discussions about community safety and public education. Residents, business owners and District 1 stakeholders are encouraged to attend. “This forum is a partnership,” said District 1 City Commissioner Willie Shaw. “The most critical issue facing the North Sarasota community is violence and a collaborative effort to address this issue is being undertaken by both the City and County Commissions. With support from local law enforcement, as well as the judicial and education systems, this forum will serve as an initial discussion. Working together, we will look forward to more community engagement,” said Commissioner Shaw.

During the public safety panel discussion, community experts will share information on crime prevention, current crime statistics in North Sarasota and joint public safety programs between the Sarasota Police Department and Sheriff’s Office. The public education discussion will include issues ranging from early childhood development, to graduation rates to alternatives for teens and young adults. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the panelists. “We urge residents to come to this forum to learn about what’s being done to make our streets safer and improve educational opportunities,” Mason said. “We are asking people to share their thoughts about what we all can do to make this a great community for our families and children.” To see a complete list of panel participants click here.

County Commissioner Mason was elected to the Sarasota County Commission in 2008 to represent District 1. She currently serves as Vice Chair. She served on the Sarasota City Commission from 1999 to 2003, including serving as Mayor from 2001 to 2003.

Since May 2011, City Commissioner Shaw has served as the District 1 City Commissioner. He represents the City Commission on the Juvenile Justice Council of the Department of Justice/Juvenile Assessment Center Advisory Committee, Enterprise Zone Redevelopment Agency, the Sarasota County Community Action Agency Board and the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council.

For more information on the community forum contact Shavon Reed-Agard in the Newtown Redevelopment Office: 941-365-2200 ext. 3221.

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