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Bay Area Activists rally for Tallahassee agenda 1/12/2016

About two dozen people rallied outside St. Petersburg City Hall on a brisk morning to voice their agenda for the Legislative session beginning in Tallahassee today.

Killing bills that would allow fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas, and squashing legislation that would hurt undocumented immigrants were on the agenda. As was a renewed call for a statewide living wage of $15 per hour.

Council members Darden Rice and Lisa Wheeler-Brown both spoke.

Rice urged state lawmakers to reject fracking legislation and to allow local governments to pass their own laws prohibiting the practice.

She said fracking was too dangerous and threatened Tampa Bay's water supply.

"We like our clean water, thank you very much," Rice said.

Wheeler-Brown spoke emotionally about friends and neighbors in her Midtown neighborhood who struggled to make ends meet. 

"We are not asking Tallahassee anything. We are demanding you pay us what we deserve," Wheeler-Brown said in support of the $15 per hour movement.

Maria Jose Hays, a union organizer and Mexican immigrant, said she was tired of undocumented workers being demonized by politicians.

"We're not your scapegoats. We're not chess pieces to be used for your political gains," she said.

Demetra Atkins, 47, a child-care worker, who makes $8.05 an hour---the minimum wage--- caring for disabled children, said she just wants to know she can pay her rent and put food on the table.

Working so hard for so little needs to change, she said.

"There is something not right about this," she said before the rally began.