Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • The Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

March for our Lives tour to stop in St. Petersburg on Thursday

A national anti-gun violence group led by survivors of the Parkland school shooting will stage a rally Thursday in St. Petersburg.

Organizers from March for our Lives will meet attendees at 11 a.m. in Williams Park to discuss school safety solutions and gun reforms — and register voters. The stop is a part of the group's statewide tour. It has also organized a national voter registration tour.

March for our Lives organizers made national headlines earlier this year when they organized a slew of national marches to protest gun violence. Some 15,000 marched in Tampa Bay on March 24.

Read more: March For Our Lives draws about 15,000 in Tampa Bay

Thursday's event will be the second of three Tampa Bay-area stops this week. Tuesday, at Clearwater's Athenian Academy, student organizers answered questions from a crowd of over 300 town hall participants, an organizer told the Times.

Kayla Dixon, the organizer and the communications director for We The Students Inc., a local student activism organization, called the Tuesday event a success.

"We got to have a very intellectual discussion," Dixon said. "It was very civil."

Chris Hunter and Stephen Perenich, two Democratic congressional candidates vying for the 12th Congressional District seat currently occupied by Republican Gus Bilirakis, attended the Clearwater event, Dixon said.

Thursday's rally in St. Petersburg will also sport a number of Democrats running for office. Four of the five Democrats seeking the gubernatorial nomination — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Orlando-area businessman Chris King, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine — will give brief remarks at the event, their spokesmen confirmed.

Despite the Democratic-leaning turnout, Dixon, who also plans to attend the St. Petersburg rally, said she wanted to dispel the notion that either March for our Lives or We The Students are partisan.

"That's not the case at all," she said.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the Congressional district currently represented by Gus Bilirakis. It is the 12th district, not the 13th.

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Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18