ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Tenants in St. Petersburg spent a second night sleeping outside city hall in protest of rising rent prices.
“People are going homeless. This is just a visual representation of what people are going through every single day,” demonstration organizer Nick Carey said Thursday morning.
During last week’s city council meeting, dozens of tenants urged councilmembers to put a rent stabilization measure on the ballot in November.
“We were able to advance the resolution to this week being a final vote to get it on the ballot,” Carey said. “Starting back in February when this was defeated in committee, 3-1, we felt it was a pretty sizeable victory.”
Thursday city council is scheduled to consider a resolution that would put a rent stabilization referendum on the ballot.
Councilmembers have a number of options to address the resolution. They can put it off, vote for or against the measure, or decide to have it sent back to be rewritten by legal.
“I think we’ve still got an uphill battle and quite frankly that’s why we’re out here,” Carey said. “We’re trying to demonstrate the urgency that is needed from the city.”
In a memo, the city attorney’s opinion is the resolution won’t meet legal standards and they should draft an ordinance.
Carey and the demonstrators who slept overnight on the steps of city hall said they believe council can make it happen, despite a tight timeline.
“I’ve seen city council move mountains when they want to get something done, when they want to get creative and make sure they take care of whatever they need to take care of,” Carey said. “We’re just asking them to do the same for working poor people in the city.”
City council is scheduled to up the issue during their meeting Thursday at 1:30 PM.