Ward II Representative – Vice Mayor, Christine Brown – Monthly Report
Vice Mayor Christine Brown, Council Report for September 3, 2022
Greetings neighbors and Happy Labor Day. The month of September in Gulfport is always busy, busy, busy. On the first Saturday of September, Gulfport hosts the wildly popular GeckoFest which is Gulfport’s way of bidding goodbye to summertime. The Gulfport Merchant’s Chamber of Commerce work hard all year to plan and produce this event and they certainly do a great job! I was at the event a good part of the day volunteering with Gulfport CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Our team is on hand at most major events in town to help with safety. I, along with my other council members, led the walking parade through the festival grounds followed by the most excellent Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band. We have such a great and unique community, don’t we? One special part of this day was the long-awaited debut of the Gecko statue at our waterfront. I was so fortunate to be able to lead the ceremony for the unveiling of our fabulous new Gecko statue. The official name of the statue is G. Gordon McFly! The Artist, Ray Domingo christened the statue with this fun name. What follows is the speech that I prepared and delivered for this great occasion.
Hello, I am Vice Mayor Christine Brown. I am proud to introduce Ward 4 council member Michael Fridovich, Ward 3 council member Paul Ray and Ward 1 council member April Thanos. Mayor Henderson regrets that he cannot be here. I know Sam is a big supporter of everything Gecko, especially this fabulous new addition to our waterfront. Also here is our city manager Jim O’Reilly along with all of the city staff that worked so hard behind the scenes to make the charming, eclectic and “so uniquely Gulfport” art piece come to life.
Gulfport is welcoming, captivating and remarkable on so many levels. Today we are here to highlight our exceptional art community. We have art exhibits in the Hickman Theater, in the library, in the senior center, in city hall and soon in the Gulfport Arts Center at Bryer Hall.
In Gulfport you can nurture your inner artist by buying art, creating art, going on an art walk, enjoying art in the yard, listening to musical artists, and enjoying culinary art in our wonderful restaurants. Gulfport will support you, showcase you and cheer for you and your creative passion of choice. Because together we are one community that embraces diverse ideas, individual beliefs, and most of all, we embrace each other.
Our man of the hour, Ray Domingo, whose vison we have come together to celebrate is here with his lovely wife Linda. Ray came to me months ago to share his idea and in that instance, I knew Ray Domingo symbolized all the goodness of Gulfport. Gulfport is deeply and completely rooted in Ray’s heart and soul. I am honored to introduce the artist, Ray Domingo.
Vice Mayor Christine Brown, Council Report for September 11, 2022
This weekend Gulfport came together to honor and remember the events of September 11, 2001. Sunday was the 21st anniversary of this national tragedy. I would like to thank Regina Buscemi, a local resident who is instrumental in ensuring that Gulfport continues to have this ceremony each year. She and her husband lived and worked their whole lives in the immediate area of New York City on that fateful day. Regina spoke on Sunday and her words and her story were powerful. Also, our hearts were touched by the spiritual message of Reverend Kimberly Harrell from Unity Church of Gulfport. We all enjoyed a beautiful rendition of God Bless America by Unity Church of Gulfport musical director Jay Miah. Closing remarks were given by Gulfport Police Chief Vincent. Chief Vincent shared how important it is that our community is and always has been strong supporters of our public safety officers, our firefighters and EMS personnel. I would personally like to thank Justin Shea, Cultural Facilities Supervisor for the City of Gulfport for all of his work making sure that I was prepared and that this event was flawless. I was blessed to open the ceremony with the following words.
Welcome to the City of Gulfport 9/11 Commemoration Event. I am Vice-Mayor Christine Brown, thank you for being here. On September 11, 2001, many lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks. We honor the spirit of sacrifices made that day and continue to be made by those still suffering the aftereffects including members of our own community, the armed forces, and their families. We honor those heroes by uniting today. We keep a sacred promise to you, the victims. We remember you. You live in our hearts.
Today is a chance to recapture the spirit of unity that swept through the nation in the aftermath of 9-11 while paying tribute, with acts of service, to those lost on September 11, 2001. Thank you to our heroic first responders and the countless others who serve to defend our freedom at home and around the globe.
On the days that followed September 11, 2001, we were all reminded that unity is possible and imperative in our community. It is essential to our shared prosperity, to our security, and to our standing here on earth.
As Vice-Mayor of the City of Gulfport, Florida, we the people are “United in Service” to Honor the 21st anniversary of 9/11. On this Patriot Day, we would like to thank our colleagues for their continued commitment to protecting and saving the lives of citizens and visitors year around. Our hearts continue to be with all the families of 9/11.