Tampa City Council member Luis Viera is filing for re-election, making him the first incumbent on the Council to do so.
The two-term Council member filed paperwork Friday to run in Tampa’s upcoming municipal election, set for March 7, 2023. All current Council seats will be up for election on that ballot, as members’ current terms expire April 30, 2023.
When deciding if he should seek re-election, Viera determined that he wants to continue his work on accessibility and public safety, having long been an advocate for marginalized communities.
“Whenever a term is finished, you always ask yourself, should I go forward?” Viera told Florida Politics. “For me, if you take a look at the issues that I’ve been working on in Tampa City Council, there’s still a lot more to do.”
Viera was first elected after winning a Special Election in late 2016. On the Council, he’s been an advocate for tenants, those with disabilities and first responders. If re-elected, he plans to continue his work on disability-friendly parks and the city’s public safety master plan.
“When you look substantively at the things that I’ve been working on, there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. “So just continuing to fight the fight for the issues that I care about. If I come on an issue, it’s because I’m passionate about it, so I have to finish the work.”
He also plans to continue fighting for tenant rights, including providing renters short-term relief and finding long-term solutions. Back in March, Viera successfully re-introduced a Tenant’s Bill of Rights measure, after promising to revive it when it failed a month prior.
Although the City Council seats are nonpartisan, it’s no secret that Viera leans left. But, he’s made it clear he’s not into divisive politics.
“I just feel that we need to continue to have people in office who work to build a bridge,” he said. “This is a very divisive time, we need people — not just the city of Tampa, but in all different parts of government — who are going to stand strong to their principles, but again, be able to build bridges.”
Viera was elected to replace Council member Lisa Monteleone, who left her seat to run for state House in 2016. A lawyer by trade, did his undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida before attending Stetson School of Law. He served as Council Chair before passing the gavel to Guido Maniscalco and then Orlando Gudes.