80,000 people expected in San Francisco for Women's March Saturday

Women's March events are scheduled to take place Saturday, January 20th, all across the country and right here in cities all over the Bay Area. 

Organizers say 80,000 people are expected in San Francisco; 30,000 in Oakland and 20,000 in San Jose. 

A rally is scheduled to start at noon at Civic Center Plaza followed by a march at 2 p.m. 

On Friday night at a San Francisco borrowed office space, members of various groups affiliated with the Democratic Party are making t-shirts, hats and other accessories to promote this year's theme: Hear Our Vote. 

They say women's health care and immigration are among the issues that are at the forefront. 

"I came here as a child fleeing a civil war in Sri Lanka. I have grown up in the Bay Area.

I see how wonderful the diversity of this community has been to help me succeed in my life and have upward mobility," says Kanishka Karunaratne with the Asian Pacific Democratic Club. 

She plans to lead a group of about 150 people to the rally and march.
 
She wants to pay it forward. 

Karunaratne says she became an American citizen She and other supporters of the movement say they want to help others who come from immigrant backgrounds to have a pathway to success. 
The mood may be light-hearted as volunteers prepare for a pre- march gathering of their own, but their focus on the issues is not. 

"We can influence change. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of organizing. We have to be out there. We have to be vigilant," says Mary Jung, San Francisco Democratic Party Leader. 
Organizers say the tone of this year's march differs from last year.

It was resistance and opposition to newly-elected President Donald Trump.

2018 is about preparing for the mid-term elections.

"Helping people get more organized locally across the state and also helping people elect more women and allies into office and also encourage more women to run for office," says Janete Perez, organizer with Women's March San Francisco. 

Organizers say there's a lot more work that needs to be done. 

Only 54 percent of women in California are registered to vote and of those, 45 percent actually go to the polls. 

They hope Saturday's rally and march will energize people to take action.
 
"I hope that it will keep people engaged in politics. Make sure they stay focussed on the real issues," says Karunaratne.

The march will start at Civic Center Plaza. It will go down Market Street and end at the Embarcadero.

National organizers with Women's March plan to hold a a rally in las vegas Sunday to show strength in a swing state. 
 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories