NAACP member slams Buckhorn over Jackson House - FOX 13 News

NAACP member slams Buckhorn over Jackson House

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Yvette Lewis with the NAACP was a big supporter of Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

"I voted for this mayor, I worked on his campaign, I believed in him," Lewis said.

Now she's not so sure.

"The mayor has a vision of downtown, and let's be honest, it doesn't include African-American people," Lewis said.

Strong words from a woman who has been silent during the noisy debate over the Jackson House.

Lewis says the mayor has put one roadblock after the next in the way of saving the historic site.

She doesn't understand why.

"The mayor has put so many stipulations on this house that is unbelievable, and it's just this house," Lewis said.

The boarding house was built in 1901. Top entertainers and civil rights leaders visited or stayed at the house during segregation.

Last September, former council woman Linda Saul-Sena and Bubba the Love Sponge stepped up to try to save it from demolition.

Both say the city thwarted the deal at the last minute, setting unreasonable deadlines and fines.

"Whatever plan he has is a lot more sexier than restoring a dilapidated house for African Americans," Bubba said.

He even played a year old clip from the "Spice Show," where the mayor, jokingly, offers "Spice" a key to the city in exchange for getting Bubba's show off the air.

"You can pull Bubba's switch. Just turn the power off," Buckhorn said.

Lewis isn't interested in whatever tension there may be between Bubba and the mayor. She wants the focus back where it should be.

"We don't have an African-American Museum. We don't have anything, we are losing our history in Tampa, and it seems as though the people we elect to office don't even care," she said. "It's time for us to knock on the Mayor's door and say we want to save the Jackson House."

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