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The StoryCorps Mobile Tour is partnering with WUSF Public Media to record and preserve the stories of Tampa residents and preserve them in the Library of Congress. For 16 years, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour has brought loved ones together for thousands of meaningful conversations about the things that matter most.

One Small Step Tampa Bay: Overcoming Labels And Differing Attitudes

Rosanne Clementi, left, and Tracy Bird are featured in this week's StoryCorps' One Small Step - Tampa Bay.
Rosanne Clementi, left, and Tracy Bird are featured in this week's StoryCorps' One Small Step - Tampa Bay.

This week’s story from StoryCorps' One Small Step - Tampa Bay focuses on two women who want to understand what makes the other side of the political aisle tick.

Tampa resident Rosanne Clementi, 66, is a scientist who works as an environmental consultant. She says she was once very liberal but now considers herself a conservative. This often puts her at odds with other environmentalists, and at odds with her wife.

“The more experience I have had, especially owning my own business, I find I’ve evolved into a conservative,” she said. “I have been an environmental consultant for 40 years specializing in wetland ecology and threatened and endangered species.”

ONE SMALL STEP: WUSF breaks down the boundaries created by politics

Conversely, Tracy Bird is a 55-year-old Tampa writer and self-described “extreme” liberal who says the older she gets, the more liberal she becomes. 

“[I’ve] never understood unfairness based on race, sex, religion, class, sexual orientation,” Bird said. “I believe our highest aspiration as Americans should be to strive for a world where our actions align with the truth of these words from our constitution: ‘All men are created equal.’ I believe this means that all people must have equal access to healthcare and educational opportunities, and that these are rights, not privileges.”

Both Rosanne and Tracy talk about how to dealing with their spouses and family who differ politically can be a challenge, and how the labels we attach to ourselves and each other can have a chilling effect on getting to know one another.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay airs every Monday on WUSF 89.7 at 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and at 4:44 p.m. today (and 5:44 p.m. for future stories) during All Things Considered through the end of September.

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