Steve Kornell: Doing what's right in St. Pete

Check out this great article from that reminds us why we love St. Pete Councilman Steve Kornell so much (as if we could ever forget):

Steve Kornell: Doing what's right in St. Pete

I walked down the stairs of City Hall after my interview with city council member Steve Kornell feeling a sense of hope. We spoke of change, advocacy, art, music and more. His energy and positivity about every topic we discussed was contagious and inspiring.

I never thought I’d meet a politician that could evoke this response from me. Upon reflection, however, I quickly realized that Kornell is not your average politician. He is not seeking power, or fame, or money. First and foremost, Kornell is an advocate, a social worker, and in general, a humanist.

Kornell has been on a steady path of humanity since he was a teenager. At age 19, he started working with the St. Petersburg Recreation Department.

“I loved it, and it turned out to be a career choice,” he said.

He attended Eckerd College to receive a BA in human development and then USF to work on his Master’s in social work. Upon graduation, he became a social worker for at-risk youth, but felt that he wanted to make more change. He decided to run for city council, but remains a school social worker in the Pinellas County School System.

“I felt like I wasn’t intimidated by politics and city council, (and) I’ve always been dedicated to public service. Social workers are supposed to be advocates, and as a social worker, I wanted to change the system, which really lends well to politics. I never set out to be in politics … (but) felt that I had the chance to make an impact here when I couldn’t at other levels.”

So here he is, a city council member who has started a youth services subcommittee to come up with a master plan to involve the youth in the city and prevent juvenile crime. While some politicians are concerned with pleasing their constituents, Kornell is working on the issues that he believes are morally right. This is why he became a politician.

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