Local 21 Shows Up in Full Force at Women’s Marches

Members say “No Way” to Rights Rollbacks and Cuts to Public Services

From the Bay Area to Washington DC, Local 21 members showed up in full force to support the National Women’s Marches on January 21.

The Women’s Marches made it clear to the new White House administration that draconian cuts to local government and rollbacks to labor, immigrant, women, people of color, and LGBTQ rights would be met with stiff opposition.

A full delegation of Local 21 members marched in Oakland, and there was a Local 21 contingent in San Jose. A small group traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National March, which was endorsed by the AFL – CIO.

Local 21 had a strong showing at the Oakland Women’s March, with a group of over 60 marchers coming from the East Bay, Contra Costa, and San Francisco. The energy was infectious. Local 21 Representative/Organiziers Kat General and Subha Varadarajan and Political and Policy Director Rachel Richman coordinated the Local 21 contingent of the Oakland Women’s March, organizing members and providing them with protest signs, banners, and chants.

Fully equipped with a bullhorn, Local 21 led the crowd to chant, “We’re women, we’re loud! We’re organized and we’re proud!” and “We choose when to procreate, ‘cause church and state don’t ovulate!” Local 21 signs varied from serious, reading “Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth,” quoting prominent labor activist Lucy Parsons, to silly, reading “Spread Nutella, not fear,” and “Free Melania.”

About 100,000 marched in Oakland, extending 40 city blocks.

“Federal cuts in local government funding, especially the proposed dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, will have a devastating effect on the people we serve through local government services,” said VP Renée Sykes, from Oakland. “The march was just the first step.  Now every single Local 21 member must step up and continue the fight to preserve our rights.”

Michelle Hatfield organized the Local 21 San Jose contingent of the Women’s March. More than 25,000 people showed up to the San Jose Women’s March. “It took people two hours to walk the half mile from City Hall to Cesar Chavez Plaza,” said Hatfield. “It was awesome.”

“This is the start of a critical fight to preserve union rights and the rights of working families”, said Sue Guest, Executive Committee member from Contra Costa County.

“During times like this, it’s tempting to get discouraged. But that’s the last thing we can afford to do,” said Executive Director Bob Muscat.  “By working together, our union can stay strong and protect worker’s rights and public services.”

To view the photos of Local 21 at the Bay Area Women’s Marches, check our Facebook album here!


What’s next?

Get out your pen!
Members will be writing to Congressional members to oppose the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at their next Local 21 Chapter meeting. California receives billions in ACA funding. Losing that funding will have a serious impact on the ability of California counties, cities and public hospitals to serve residents. Letters make a difference. Congressional offices keep a daily tally of the letters and phone calls they receive and set legislative priorities based on what they hear from constituents, so make your voice count!

Click and Call!
Call your Legislators today. Click here and you will be patched through to your Representative’s office. Please let them know that the ACA is vital to the health of our communities and funds are desperately needed in local government services.

Click and Go!
With so much activism in the Bay Area and the Capitol, it can be hard to keep track of everything. We’re making it easier for you by pulling everything altogether in one place.  Like Local 21’s Facebook page to get the latest updates on legislation, public policy, community forums and political action and protests!