Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the legacy of one of Tampa Bay’s true trailblazer, Alton Maurice White, during Black History Month. He has dedicated himself to improving the lives of others through public service and education. Today, I am grateful to recognize his selfless dedication and honor his valuable service to our community.
Mr. White chose early on in his impressive career to dedicate himself to service to his community. Receiving an athletic scholarship attending Florida A&M University, Mr. White was active both on and off the field. As a brother of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and a student-leader in the early 1960s, Mr. White embarked on civil rights demonstrations against segregation.
After receiving a Bachelor in Education, Mr. White became a teacher and coach at Mercer University in Georgia then in the Hillsborough County Public School system. In 1967 he began his career in government service with the Federal Model Cities Program. Through bipartisan networking with political leaders in Washington, D.C., Mr. White brought millions of Model Cities dollars to Tampa to help end poverty and improve the lives of the city’s residents.
A pioneer of firsts, in 1968 Mr. White became the first African American appointed to the Florida Educational Television and Radio Advisory Board, which he later chaired. Only a year later in 1969, Mr. White expanded his expertise to include the first African American appointed to the Florida State Medical Advisory Board.
In 1974, Mr. White was the first African American to run for the Mayor of the City of Tampa. That same year, Mr. White overcame considerable opposition
s to help build the Ybor City campus of Hillsborough Community College, serving as a trustee for Hillsborough Community College and eventually chairing the board.
Mr. White has served the Tampa Bay community in countless ways, including as the Executive Director and Insurance Executive of the Tampa Housing Authority. Under Mr. White’s leadership, the Tampa Bay community has received millions of dollars to aid public work and created hundreds of jobs.
Mr. White is a beloved friend and a role model to many. Mr. White continues to give back through counseling hundreds of young aspiring business and community leaders. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Tampa Bay community, I am proud to recognize Alton Maurice White for his lifelong exemplary service in improving the lives of others.