ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the president makes his case for another for years at this week’s Republican National Convention, Democratic leaders from across Pinellas County held a roundtable Tuesday listening to everyday citizens on the topic of unemployment.
“I was officially furloughed March 21,” said Michael Fitzgerald, who worked the consierge desk at a St. Pete Beach hotel.
He was among those sharing stories of unemployment and how they believe mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis has kept them out of work even longer.
“My savings is quickly dwindling when I have all this outgoing money and nothing coming in,” Fitzgerald said.
“It's been hard staying home for the past six months and not being able to do the job that I love,” said Jolie Wallace, who was furloughed from her job hotel banquet job in St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says while Republicans often make comments about people not wanting to work, he says that’s not usually the case.
“This isn't about people who want handouts,” Kriseman said. “As you heard during the round table these are folks that want to work. They want to go back to work!”
Kriseman, a Democrat, has officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden and says from day one, he believes a Biden-Harris administration will be better for the city of St. Pete and its citizens.
“They don't want false promises,” Kriseman said. “They want to have someone who actually cares who is empathetic and understands what they're suffering through and at least provide them the opportunity to help themselves.”
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