Political purpose meets community celebration on the Deuces


ST. PETERSBURG —  Gallerie 909 hosted Democratic Field Organizer Kayla Sanders and her team to meet with the community to generate excitement, support and future volunteers for what could prove to be one of the most critical presidential elections in modern U.S. political history.

Sanders answered her calling as an organizer immediately after graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in history from Florida State University.

“They were holding some interviews and said, ‘Hey you got it,’” stated Sanders as she addressed citizens of the community at the Gallerie 909. Sanders recalled the invitation that landed her in the heart of St. Petersburg.

“They asked, ‘Do you want to go to St. Petersburg?’ and I said ‘Yeah, I want to go to St. Petersburg.’ So now I am here!”

Sanders had been in the area only two weeks before meeting with locals at the Gallerie 909.

“Basically, what I want to do is empower this community. I want to make sure people get out there and vote in November,” she said.

Sanders is also encouraging citizens to vote in local elections as well.

“That’s good because I want to help,” recalled one of the citizens who received a phone call about the meeting last month. “I’m a Democrat and that’s why I’m here,” said Julie as she recalled her phone call with Sanders.

Winnie Foster, one of the founding members of the Democratic Party in St. Petersburg, briefly shared her experiences and enthusiasm for the political process taking place.

“There are so many issues, and I just love seeing young faces… and so I will lend my influence,” said Foster.

“We have over 1,200 Democrats and most of them vote,” said Judy Nelson, a Democratic committee member at Super Precinct 102 in Greater Pinellas Point.

Danny, a young millennial, encapsulated what many young people in his age group are saying in high school classrooms and on college campuses about the upcoming election.

“I’m a reasonable thinking person, so I don’t want Donald Trump in office,” he said.

“I was working in a law firm in D.C. when I started having this recurring dream of Donald Trump sitting behind me in the back of a school bus and screaming at me, so I quit my job and started doing this,” said Zack, a field organizer for northern St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and Seminole.

By the end of the meeting at Gallerie 909, Sanders found herself surrounded by a group of political warriors who expressed a willingness to work with her to achieve a unanimous goal, which is to elect a democratic president one community, one district, and one city at a time.

From political activism to weekly community celebration

As the political gathering was winding down, people from the community were gathering along 22nd Street South on both sides starting at the intersection of 9th Avenue South and heading north just short of the Manhattan Casino.

People came with lawn chairs, cars, minivans, barbecue grills and a kaleidoscope of colorful clothing. The atmosphere tingled as a variety of music sweetened the humid air. The participators in Sander’s meeting who did not go home went one door south to Deuces BBQ, one door north to Café Creole or strolled down the packed sidewalk to take part in the festivities.

Every Thursday evening on the Deuces you’ll find smiles, laughter, sizzling grills and an assortment music filling the streets, making it reminiscent of a miniature Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

To reach Allen Buchanan, email abuchanan@theweeklychallenger.com

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