St Petersburg is going through an unprecedented period of challenge, and the strain on our residents, school board employees, bus drivers and city workers has intensified significantly in recent days. We are facing down another tropical storm as we try to emerge from a historic fish kill in our waters. COVID has reemerged, threatening our hospitals, public health and way of life. Our rents have continued to rise as our wages remain stagnant. Violence in our neighborhoods is at an all-time high and our young people still lack a pathway to prosperity rather than prison.
Let’s be real. Times have been tough, and it’s going to take all of us to get our communities back on their feet. For many, getting back to normal may sound great, but for too many of us going back to normal won’t be enough after surviving the pandemic. The sacrifices of our frontline workers, the lack of access to healthcare, our affordable housing crisis and the alarming rise in gun violence in our city have all exposed a new urgency for change.
St Petersburg is receiving $45 million dollars in federal funds as a part of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP). To ensure we have a voice in how and when this money is used, your union has aligned with faith groups, climate and justice organizations, multi-racial organizers and others committed to building power for every-day people—no matter what we look like, where we live, or where we come from.