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    Women’s March 2018 to Bring #Power to the Polls

    One year ago, an estimated 2 percent of the entire U.S. population participated in the Women’s March, making it one of the largest single-day demonstrations in history. Such estimates do not even take into account the number of participants who marched in solidarity outside of this country. Now, a year into the destructive and nightmarish Trump presidency, it is time to take to the streets again. As LGBT activist Cleve Jones wrote: “Stop Trump! Protest everywhere. January 20, 2018.”

    We too urge you to heed the call to action, by joining one of the many Women’s Marches that will be taking place on that day throughout the Bay Area. The Women’s March is a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all. Use the tool at the Women’s March Anniversary Event Map to find out which march or related event will be closest to you (

    In San Francisco and throughout California, the theme is “Hear Our Vote.” Women’s March Bay Area (WMBA) has been striving to turn last year’s watershed moment into a movement. On the heels of #MeToo and historic elections in 2017, the upcoming actions will focus on getting out the vote in the 2018 midterms. The march will kick off a year of voter mobilization.

    The Saturday, January 20 event in San Francisco will begin with a rally at 11:30 am at San Francisco’s Civic Center and will end at the Embarcadero. Participating organizations will be aligned with the Women’s March National Unity Principles ( created with the goals of protecting civil and reproductive rights, working for environmental justice, ending violence, and promoting the rights of immigrants, workers, and LGBTQIA and disabled community members.

    “This is not just a march, but a call to action to get engaged locally about the issues that matter to you,” Sophia Andary, Co-leader of San Francisco Women’s March, informed the San Francisco Bay Times. “2017 was an incredibly tough year, but we made great strides in forming alliances, working together, and cementing our values. This movement is bringing attention to issues that have long plagued this country and this city, and we’re building the skills and taking the actions that we hope will help build the future we want to see.”

    She and her team informed us that, as of this writing, the following speakers have been confirmed for the San Francisco event. More will likely be added in the coming days.

    • Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Community Alliances for Teach for America, Co-Founder of Campaign Zero, and a member of President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force;
    • Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Native American activist, artist and poet;
    • Aimee Allison, President of Democracy in Color, an organization that focuses on race, politics and the new American majority that worked to elect President Barack Obama and others who carry a social justice agenda;
    • Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Projects for the Transgender Law Center, and a longtime LGBT activist;
    • Zahra Billoo, civil rights attorney and the Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations;
    • Olga Talamante, the first Executive Director of the Chicana Latina Foundation;
    • Sidalia King, Legislative Aide to Toni Atkins, the first out queer woman Speaker of the Assembly;
    • Viviana Becerra, Legislative Director at the State Assembly;
    • Rabbi Katie Mizrahi, spiritual leader of the Or Shalom Jewish Community since 2007;
    • Jenny Friedenbach, Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness;
    • Jacqueline Evans, Peer Organizer at the Coalition on Homelessness;
    • Hillary Ronen, San Francisco Supervisor of District 9.

    “Last year’s election compelled many of us to a level of action and activism that has changed our lives and our communities, forging connections across groups that have otherwise been siloed,” said Jenny Bradanini, Co-leader of Women’s March San Jose. “As is clear from the unprecedented number of women candidates this cycle, the grassroots movement has taken hold. First we marched, now we run!”

    The WMBA marches are two of eighteen planned across California that Saturday, representing the state’s part of the national movement. It will be a busy weekend because on Sunday, January 21, the official national anniversary of the Women’s March will be commemorated in Las Vegas with the theme #Power to the Polls. Nevada has recent experience with some of the most pressing issues facing women in our nation today, from gun violence to politicians accused of sexual assault. As a swing-state that will shape the Senate in 2018, and as home to a strong activist network, Nevada was deemed to be the perfect place to continue building electoral power.

    The Las Vegas anniversary event will kick-off a national voter registration and mobilization tour targeting swing states to register new voters, engage impacted communities, harness the Women’s March’s collective energy in advocating for policies and candidates that reflect its values, and to collaborate with partners to elect more women and progressive candidates to office. 

    Finally, please keep in mind that the various Women’s March groups are actively fundraising to help support their planned events. Local organizers informed us that the funds go toward making the marches safe, successful and accessible. We were told that any extra funds beyond meeting those needs will help to support additional actions throughout the year. You can donate to WMBA at:

    For more information:

    Women’s March Bay Area:

    Power to the Polls:

    Women’s March Oakland Leaders Share Plans, Goals

    Women’s March Oakland, like its sister Women’s March Bay Area (WMBA), is readying for the events of Saturday, January 20. The East Bay march and rally, “Hear Our Vote: March for Our Future,” will kick off at 10 am that day at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater in Oakland. It will proceed up 14th Street and end at Frank Ogawa Plaza, where there will be a “Call to Action Alley” featuring local organizations.

    Since more than 100,000 women and their allies marched in Oakland on January 21, 2017, Women’s March Oakland has amplified the work of aligned organizations, groups and projects across the greater East Bay. The chapter’s anniversary march and rally this year, as for WMBA’s event, will focus on voter education and participation, as well as on uplifting tomorrow’s leaders.

    The stated mission of Women’s March Oakland is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities in Oakland and the East Bay to create transformative social change. Women’s March is a movement providing intersectional education on a range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.

    “March for Our Future is youth-led, and we felt our march last year needed community youth leaders not only to participate, but also to lead in a real and transformative way,” said Ivonne Quiroz, Co-chair of Women’s March Oakland. “When March for Our Future Co-chair Alisha Shaik reached out to us, we jumped on the opportunity to support and mentor young activists who are ready to take a stand and make a difference.”

    Alison Mata is the other Co-chair of Women’s March Oakland. She is also a Program Manager at Women’s Centers International (, which is based in Oakland. She has been involved with the Women’s March from the very beginning, ever since she decided not to travel to D.C. in January of last year, but instead to focus on building support for the movement right here in the Bay Area.

    During a recent interview with the San Francisco Bay Times, Mata said, “Last year’s march was about people coming together in solidarity and to be in an uplifting place after the presidential election. This year, we have three goals: uplift tomorrow’s leaders, register voters, and launch our 2018 platform, including voter education and participation.”

    She added, “We’re excited about March for Our Future’s involvement in this year’s event. It’s been a great opportunity to support and mentor young activists who are ready to show up and make a difference. They’re taking the lead in ensuring that the rally and march speak to the next generation of leaders in our community.

    Mata further said that she and her team hope to build on the momentum after the historic wins last November. These included Danica Roem becoming the first openly transgender person elected to a U.S. statehouse seat, Jenny Durkan becoming the first lesbian mayor elected in Seattle, Vi Lyles becoming the first black woman to be elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, and more.

    The #MeToo movement is also very much on the minds of Women’s March organizers across the nation, as it is with the general public.

    “Sexual assault is not new,” Mata said. “For far too long, women have been sexually assaulted and harassed, and silenced—women of color even more so. This is a prime example of the Women’s March goal of ending violence. Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies.”

    She continued, “The #MeToo movement means different things to different women. We’re also seeing a backlash against women who come forward; there are whisperings of women not being hired in order to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. A very important conversation has started, but much work is still needed. We need to address the underlying reason that sexual assault and harassment happen: systemic, structural inequality.”

    Mata is also concerned about the voting process in the U.S., which is obviously far from perfect. A large percentage of people still do not vote and therefore their voices are not counted. A too-often forgotten obstacle is that, in many cities across the country, more than one stamp is needed on mailed absentee ballots.

    “This is really bothersome, since we see women every day who are living on $900 or less a month and they are already using every penny that they have just to barely get by,” she explained, adding that she and her colleagues are looking at ways of helping such people—both with the voter registration process and with any needed postage.

    Since Women’s March Oakland is a 501c3 organization, it is not backing any particular candidates or legislation. Voters in the East Bay city, however, have traditionally played a role in helping to shape progressive politics beyond this region, such as with the powerful Black Lives Matter movement.

    “In Oakland, there is long history of activism and working for social justice issues,” Mata said. “We need to uplift that community and our local organizations. We are asking those organizations to come out for the January 20 march and rally, and to let others know more about them and the good and necessary work that they are doing.”

    To register for a table in the “Call to Action Alley,” please go to:

    Women’s March Oakland, like WMBA, is also accepting donations that can be in any dollar amount ( The primary website ( is packed with helpful information, including a short form ( that allows you to subscribe to a newsletter. You can also download the flyer for Women’s March Oakland at:×17.pdf)

    Women’s March: By the Numbers

    The below data comes from page 209 of the forthcoming book Together We Rise (Dey Street Books, January 16, 2018).

    3,300,000 people marched in the United States alone (with many estimates being much higher).

    653 marches took place in the U.S.

    13 places in the U.S. reported a march of one person.

    2,200 permit applications were issued for buses bound for the Washington, D.C., march.

    7 continents hosted marches.

    76 years spanned between the age of the oldest speaker (Gloria Steinem, 82) and the youngest speaker (Sophie Cruz, 6) at the D.C. Women’s March.

    60,000 pussy hat patterns were downloaded before march day from