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Sacramento Women’s March to go on as scheduled

Demonstrators outside the state Capitol in Sacramento at the 2018 women's march.(Photo: Lorraine_M, via Shutterstock)

Last January, about 36,000 people gathered in Sacramento to march in support of the #MeToo movement. Many women and their allies who marched included those that spoke out and signed an open letter denouncing sexual harassment within the Capitol community.

Supporters hope they will have a similar turnout Saturday.

Under new management, the Women’s March Sacramento group in 2018 became an official chapter of Women’s March Global and plans to focus this year’s march on ending violence against women and supporting all women, including those who were just elected to Congress.

“Women’s March Sacramento organizers plan to use this opportunity to celebrate the many local candidates who ran in 2018 and organizations who align with our Women’s March Global framework and initiatives with the upcoming 2019 Sacramento Women’s March,” lead organizer Scarlette Bustos said in a press release.

“My wheelchair is my freedom, and I love it. I roll in the Sacramento Women’s March because people with disabilities are largely ignored and invisible when it comes to policy.” — Charis Hill

Charis Hill, a Midtown resident, said she looks forward to joining the march next week. Hill spoke during last year’s march to discuss the issues relating to women with disabilities, asking why some disabled women don’t have a seat in elected office.

“We are the largest minority in the world and one of the most socially, politically and economically disadvantaged populations in the world. We often lack quality and affordable health care,” she said.

Hill suffers from a whole-body inflammatory joint disease called ankylosing spondylitis. “It causes severe pain and debilitating fatigue, so I use a wheelchair for marches because it conserves energy and reduces the pain from standing and walking,” Hill said.

“Everyone who isn’t already disabled is only temporarily abled. Since disability is in—almost— everyone’s future, why aren’t we talking about how to make the world universally accessible? I’m proudly disabled, and while I’d love a cure for ankylosing spondylitis, I still am a whole person,” she added.

“My wheelchair is my freedom, and I love it. I roll in the Sacramento Women’s March because people with disabilities are largely ignored and invisible when it comes to policy,” Hill said.

It’s unclear how many are expected to attend, but more than 25,000 have shown interest on the Women’s March Sacramento Facebook page. It’s also unclear what funding is still needed to keep the event afloat.

The Humboldt County women’s march organizers cancelled the proposed Jan. 19 event, stating, “This decision was made after many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march.”

On Dec. 26, 2018, Bustos posted on her Facebook page: “UPDATE: We’ve been asked to move the starting location from Southside Park, and we would need to raise about $20K more for permits, private security, and insurance to announce a new route. If everyone makes a $10 tax-deductible donation, we’ll surpass our goal! Please consider donating or buying a US union made t-shirt or tote to support the event,” linking to the Women’s March Sacramento website to donate.

According to one Facebook post on Dec. 5, the dollar breakdown includes $20,000 for permits and security, $12,000 in for street closures, $25,000 for audiovisual equipment, $2,500 for portable restrooms, and $1,200 for trash management and cleanup.

Bustos was not available to comment for this story. The official website for the march says the event remains scheduled.

But in a Jan. 3 updated posting, she said the group was “eternally grateful to Angelique Ashby and her team for making it possible to March from Southside Park again! We still need to raise $10K for logistics. Please consider donating or buying a US union made t-shirt or tote to support the event.”

Ashby, a member of the Sacramento City Council, said her support “is multifaceted. I am contributing funding and helping facilitate aspects of the event to reduce costs and ensuring it occurs with the desired route of the planning team,” she wrote in an email. “It’s a team effort to support an important event.”

“The more experiences captured by the combined representation, the more effective we are in serving our constituency,” added Ashby, who also thanked city departments for providing services.

Just days before, the Humboldt County women’s march organizers cancelled the proposed Jan. 19 event, stating, “This decision was made after many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march. … The local organizers are continuing to meet and discuss how to broaden representation in the organizing committee to create an event that represents and supports peoples who live here in Humboldt,” the group said in a press release.

“This March is OUR march in Sacramento. It is our opportunity to come together and to build a foundation on which to advocate for women.” — Samantha Corbin

The Washington Post reported the march was canceled, in least in part, because of concerns that the event would have been “overwhelmingly white.”

Marycon Young, a spokesperson for the city of Sacramento, said the city originally suggested Women’s March Sacramento organizers look at other options for a starting place, like Raley Field to accommodate more parking, larger buses and create less of an impact to neighborhoods.

“Representatives of the city did meet with the women’s march leaders yesterday,” Young said last week in an email.

Young also said the Sacramento “did not require the Women’s March to raise any additional funds,” she said, suggesting that Capitol Weekly should verify that with the Women’s March Sacramento organizers.

They were not available for comment.

Samantha Corbin, partner with Corbin and Kaiser government-relations firm and executive director of We Said Enough, will be a speaker at the march.

“This March is OUR march in Sacramento,” she said in an email Monday. “It is our opportunity to come together and to build a foundation on which to advocate for women, for people, in our community. There is much work to be done in Sacramento.”


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