City Council Swears In New Council Chair and Vice-Chair

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St. Petersburg City Council Swears In New Council Chair and Vice-Chair

St. Petersburg, FL (January 5, 2023) - Earlier today, St. Petersburg City Council swore in a new Council Chair and Vice-Chair. Brandi Gabbard of District 2 will serve as Council Chair and Deborah Figgs-Sanders of District 5 will serve as Vice-Chair. The Council Chair and Vice-Chair are one-year appointments.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead one of the most diverse and dynamic councils our city as ever seen,” said Council Chair Brandi Gabbard. “I look forward to the year ahead and a continued collaboration with Mayor Ken Welch and his administration. I am specifically focused on working together in the creation of a housing first policy surrounding city-owned land. It is imperative that the City provide clear direction regarding our intentions for this vital resource and its place in solving the affordable housing crisis that we continue to face." 

Council Chair Gabbard served for over a decade in leadership roles with the state, local and national real estate associations. Most notably, she was President of the Board of the Pinellas Realtor® Organization in 2014 and was awarded Realtor® of the Year in 2015. Gabbard was first elected to St. Petersburg City Council in November 2017 and is currently serving her second term, which expires in January 2027. Her committee assignments include the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the Affordable Housing and Advisory Committee, the Economic and Workforce Development Committee and the Health, Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability Committee.

“I am excited for the accomplishments to come for our great city during the coming year,” said Council Vice-Chair Deborah Figgs-Sanders. “As a public servant, my commitment to equity, economic development, housing, gun violence prevention, our unhoused, our families, and letting residents know that their voices are being heard, is unwavering. I look forward to serving with Council Chair Gabbard, Mayor Welch, my colleagues, City staff, and all who are committed to serving the greater good.”

Council Vice-Chair Deborah Figgs-Sanders is a seasoned professional with decades of expertise and experience in both corporate and non-profit settings. She is a consummate volunteer who has dedicated her life to serving the community and improving the lives of her fellow citizens. Figgs-Sanders was elected to St. Petersburg City Council in November 2019 and is serving her first term, which expires in January 2025. Her committee assignments include the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas, the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area Grant Review Committee and the Budget, Finance and Taxation Committee.

More about St. Petersburg City Council can be found at