TO: Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson, City Council and Administration
FROM: Pensacola Positivity Founders Board
SUBJECT: Palafox Markets Vendors Leadership Proposal
DATE: August 24, 2020
CC: City Parks and Rec Dept, Pensacola City Department Heads, Permit office, Palafox Market Vendors, DIB Board, Quint Studer
The purpose of this memorandum is to advise our Pensacola Mayor and City Administration of the formation of a non-profit organization, Pensacola Positivity. The individuals named below are well experienced and have committed to accept responsibility to manage and represent Palafox Markets Vendors and Community Stakeholders. The first primary goal of the new Board is to acquire the (previously applied for) event permits for weekend markets at MLK Jr. Park on Palafox Street.
The Board will then navigate the safe reopening and management of Palafox Markets on both Saturdays and Sundays through collaborations with City Officials using data driven decision making from collected resources and recommended best practices from our state capital, Tallahassee, through input from the Florida Farmers Association and the cumulative experience of the Pensacola Positivity Board of Directors. The Pensacola Positivity Board consists of key community stakeholders including proven organizers, community representatives, other non-profit leadership, categorical representatives from each vendor type, Pensacola business owners, and we invite inclusion of any appointed representative(s) the Mayor or City would choose to have involved. Palafox Markets needs to be expanded to a two-day event during the covid-19 pandemic to allow for social distancing vendor spacing,with access for more vendors in rotation and to help our entrepreneurial and self-employed community to begin navigating our new normal. One component of this project is an ESRI ArcGIS map that will be used to allow virtual mapping elements that will set the standard using precise measurements with spatial understanding and real-time public mapping and directional tools to help monitor, communicate and control foot traffic. We will also have monitored and controlled entry and exit points, mask enforcement, controlled walking traffic, and strict sanitization standards enforcement.
The ESRI ArcGIS map will also assist us in reconnecting our Palafox Markets communities now through online support. We plan to be contributing problem solvers in every way we can. For example, when possible we will involve the transient/homeless community in helping keep the three-block park clean for the market events. We will be incentivizing cleaning efforts by providing meal vouchers for participation in before and after cleaning efforts. We also plan to help coordinate with a downtown trolley to provide rides and more easily connect downtown spaces, events and parking areas.
In the long term, a two-day event will not only benefit the vendors at market and downtown businesses but will expedite the reestablishment of and allow the continuation of the excellent placemaking benefits previously enjoyed by all. Palafox Markets set the weekend tone for Downtown Pensacola and was recently named in the May 2020 edition of Southern Living Magazine as the “Best Southern Farmers Market” in the entire state of Florida. It reached this designation under the previous leadership of Mikellah Davis Makepeace. As we are preparing to send this out no other Board or organization has publicized this honor. It is our hope that City leaders will help empower this Board to govern this event so we can maintain high standards, model positive welcoming “good neighbor” behavior and keep order through practical event involvement.
The Board currently consists of previously named event organizer, Mikellah Davis Makepeace, Alicia Tappan, Mark Horn, Jordon Threadgill, Victoria Phillips, Meredith Elliott, Ann Novakowski, Barbara Fletcher, Dorothy Bruton, Rachel Eidson, Kristen Browne, Joseph Seurkamp, Nancy Brown, Tommy Van Horn, Andrew Busch, Mila Busch, Andrea Bellew, Gene Ciampini and Robin Greene. We will add more as needed or recommended. We are acting under the fiscal sponsor application and consulting with Jim Sparks within PensacolaCan.
Through Pensacola Positivity and Palafox Markets Board, we plan to be a connecting and collaborative resource to help facilitate and coordinate with as many other positive themed events, nonprofits and local entrepreneurial projects as possible. Any profit exceeding operating expenses will be used to help maintain and contribute to capital improvements in the park areas used by the markets through coordination with the City Parks and Recreation Department or used through earmarked donations to City of Pensacola approved projects.
We ask for your consideration and support and look forward to further discussion on how to safely guide the re-establishment of our amazing market community.