TAMPA, Fla. — This weekend in Tampa, hundreds of people are gathering on both sides of the aisle, rallying on issues people all over Florida and the country are facing as elections inch closer.
“I was told that if you work hard, you can achieve anything you want, and I’ve been working hard my whole life, and I’m still not achieving it,” said Alex Harris.
Harris is a fast food worker and Fight for $15 member, which advocates for fair wages.
“That’s why it’s so important to elect the right officials that care about us, that stand with us,” said Harris.
Harris stood alongside Florida workers and candidates for office, who all spoke on issues like lack of affordable housing and livable wages at an event during the Florida Democratic Party’s Leadership Blue conference Saturday.
The evening was topped off with a gala as people in attendance said they hope to turn Florida blue in 2022.
“Go and vote, and we always say like your life depends on it, but let me be very, very clear: it does,” said Senator Lauren Book, a candidate for Florida State Senate.
Just across the street, the Moms for Liberty national summit is also underway. The conservative mom group is holding sessions and hearing from speakers, highlighting issues in education.
“Everyone has the right to raise their child, to direct the upbringing of their medical care, their education, their moral and religious upbringing. It’s important to us, and it should be important to all parents,” said Tina Descovich, a Moms for Liberty Co-Founder.
As that gathering went on, another group formed outside. Activists marched to the Moms for Liberty summit in protest.
“We need people to show up to events like this to make sure they get registered, to make sure they know who’s running in elections, and what the important things are to support as far as candidates and issues,” said Jennifer Young who attended the protest.
Both conferences run through the weekend.