Planning to drive into Pasco Saturday to see the Republican Presidential hopeful speak?
You're going to find that not everyone is rolling out the red carpet for Gov. Mitt Romney's visit to Land O' Lakes Saturday.
When the Romney arrives in town, he'll be greeted by protesters donning Barack Obama for President T-shirts and carrying signs.
A "counter rally" is being organized by the United School Employees of Pasco. The union wants to raise awareness about the plight of public schools, said Kenny Blankenship, the group's vice president.
"The biggest thing is we want to get our message out there that our legislative officials need to make our schools a priority," Blankenship said Friday morning. "Our funding is less per student than it was in 2007. They just need to fund public schools appropriately."
To find out more about Romney's visit and for ticket information, see Romney Coming to Land O’ Lakes Saturday.
Blankenship said the union supports Obama for re-election, but is hoping the counter rally will make Romney aware of the issues facing public schools.
"We want our schools to be a priority," he said.
The Pasco union has invited its counterparts from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando counties to attend and show their support for the cause. Blankenship is unsure if they'll come at this point. He also doesn't know where protesters will be allowed to assemble; he's expecting it will be along Land O' Lakes Boulevard or Gator Lane.
Union supporters are meeting at the organization's Land O' Lakes office, 21322 Lake Patience Road, at 4 p.m. Oct. 27 to prepare for the rally. Officials are asking supporters to make signs. Obama T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Romney takes the stage at Land O' Lakes High School, 20325 Gator Lane, at 7 p.m. Oct. 27. The security gates open for ticketholders at 5 p.m.
Students Also Have a Voice
While school workers plan their protest, students are also organizing against Romney. Land O' Lakes High senior Zach Conn has created the closed Facebook group "Students Against Romney."
As of 9 a.m. Oct. 26, that group had 225 members.
Patch blogger Anjonette Hall recently wrote about the high school-based group.
It is unclear if students will join the protest.
Taking Part in the Counter Rally
What do you think about the counter rally? Share your thoughts in the comments section.