Derrick Brooks has adopted Tampa as his home and worked tirelessly to make it a better place for everyone
Derrick Brooks was born and raised in Pensacola, but the NFL Draft brought him to Tampa in 1995. Since, Brooks has worked tirelessly to make his adopted hometown a better place to live. Brooks' community work – from his game day ticket programs to his ambitious student tours across America and to Africa – has affected many lives in Tampa, and thus he was a perfect choice to help kick off Mayor Pam Iorio's new "I am Tampa" program.
On Wednesday, Brooks joined Mayor Iorio and a collection of city council members, area dignitaries and civil servants at the Tampa Convention Center for the unveiling of the Mayor's new community service-oriented campaign. The slogan revealed at Wednesday's event – "I am Tampa, doing my part!" – will soon be emblazoned on billboards throughout the city. The billboard advertisements will feature such recognizable figures as Brooks, the Tampa Bay Lightning's Dave Andreychuk and 2003 Teacher of the Year Debbie Gil Leslie.
"The most important asset of Tampa is the people," said Iorio on Wednesday. "People who go the extra mile, people from all walks of life who, everyday, work to make this city great. They are police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, teachers, corporate executives, athletes, neighborhood leaders and solid waste collectors. They embody a spirit of hard work and a dedication to making Tampa – our community – a better place to live. This campaign is a celebration of all of those people – everyone who does their part to make Tampa better."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Pro Bowl linebacker also spoke at the kickoff event, expressing his support for Iorio's community-minded concept.
"I think anytime that positive minds mix with positive hearts, it's going to make a difference," said Brooks. "I am truly honored to be a part of the 'I am Tampa' campaign."
As Brooks told Wednesday's audience, anyone who wants to make a difference in the community simply has to believe that he or she can. Brooks encouraged everyone to follow Iorio's call to 'go that extra mile' and make Tampa a better place to live.
"When you leave here today believe the motto, 'I am Tampa,' and believe in making a difference," he said.
Mayor Iorio shared her vision for Tampa's future and the goal of the "I am Tampa" campaign.
"Whether you're a city employee doing that extra bit, we are so proud of what you do," said Mayor Iorio. "Whether you're Derrick Brooks, a Super Bowl Champion, who is a champion off the field, making a difference in a lot of lives. No matter what position you hold in this community, if you're a citizen of Tampa every one of you can do your part to make Tampa the very best city in the United States. We should accept nothing less than that!"