For This Politician, Poverty Is Personal [Episode 12]

Kanika Tomalin's roots help her understand economic issues better than your average public official.
by | October 3, 2017
Kanika Tomalin leading a press conference in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Kanika Tomalin leading a press conference in the wake of Hurricane Irma. (Flickr/CityOfStPete)

Kanika Tomalin is the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., but she doesn't see herself as a politician.

She was appointed to the job in 2013 and says she never had her sights set on becoming a public official. Her family has been in St. Petersburg for five generations, and her family members span across socioeconomic lines. That vantage point, she says, gives her a unique understanding of deep-rooted issues around generational poverty and health disparities, which she's spent her tenure trying to eradicate.

Thanks to Healthy St. Pete, a community initiative she championed, the city now has a bike-share program and offers free fitness classes in local park -- and that's just scratching the surface.

On this episode of "The 23%: Conversations With Women in Government," she also discusses cleanup efforts from Hurricane Irma and how you can help.

Listen below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and check out our archives.