Rick Kriseman was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 2, 1962, to Donald “Danny” Kriseman and Doris Abramsohn Kriseman. At age nine his family moved to St. Petersburg, where Rick attended public school at Pasadena Elementary, Azalea Middle, and Boca Ciega High School.
In 1980, Rick entered the University of Florida and earned a B.S. in broadcasting before returning to Pinellas County to attend the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. Rick was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1987 and the U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, in 1988. Rick is also a member of the St. Petersburg and American Bar Associations and The Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
A Public Servant
After serving on the St. Petersburg Nuisance Abatement Board in 1999, Rick Kriseman was appointed to a vacancy on the St. Petersburg City Council in 2000, elected in 2001, and reelected in 2003 with more than 76 percent of the vote.
During his time on council he served on the Public Arts Committee, the Arts Advisory Committee, as Chair of the Public Safety, Service and Infrastructure Committee and as the Treasurer and Vice-Chair of the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Rick also was a member of the Special Committee on Wheeled Recreation, the Council Procedures Committee, the Transportation Impact Fee Task Force, The Livable Communities Task Force, the Pinellas County Cultural Arts Advisory Task Force, and served as Vice-Chair of the Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
In 2005, Rick was elected by his peers to serve as the Chair of the St. Petersburg City Council.
During his six years of service on the City Council, Rick was dedicated to making St. Petersburg a better place to live, work, and visit. His top achievements in office include casting the deciding vote on the sale of city-owned property in Hernando County, thereby permanently dedicating it as preservation land and allowing the city to create an endowment fund from the sale proceeds. He led the charge to expand the city's Human Rights Ordinance and became the first elected official to sign the St. Pete Pride Proclamation. He implemented Pedestrian Safe Zones and “countdown crosswalk” signals, helped lead the effort to build a joint-use community library on the campus of St. Petersburg College, fought for government in the sunshine by implementing online streaming video of council meetings, called for an independent audit of the police department, led the effort to revise St. Petersburg's code enforcement policy, and established the Police In Neighborhoods program - which provides no-interest loans to officers who remain on the force for seven years.
Rick's record of accomplishments prompted him to seek a position in the Florida House of Representatives as a way of expanding his role as a public servant. After earning more than 60 percent of the vote in 2006, Councilman Kriseman became Representative Kriseman.
Soon after taking office, Rick was named the Ranking Democrat on the Committee on Energy and was appointed to both the Environment and Natural Resources Council and the Education Committee on 21st Century Competitiveness. All three assignments gave Rick the opportunity to address issues of great concern to our generation and future generations, and made him an influential voice on energy and education issues in Florida.
The economic downturn and increasingly partisan atmosphere in Tallahassee brought unprecedented challenges, yet Rick remained a thoughtful and effective advocate for his constituents. They re-elected him without opposition in 2008 and with nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2010. His colleagues rewarded his leadership and work ethic by naming him their Policy Chair for 2011-12.
In 2013, Rick was elected mayor of St. Petersburg.
A Husband and Father
As much as Rick strives to be a dedicated and faithful public servant, he puts even greater emphasis on his role as a husband and a father. Rick is married to Kerry, a St. Petersburg native who works as a comptroller for Creative Clay, a local non-profit. They have a daughter, Jordan, and a son, Samuel. Together, the Krisemans serve as a volunteer puppy raiser family for Southeastern Guide Dogs.