Louise Ubaldi didn’t attend last year’s women’s march. But she drove from her home near Petaluma to Sacramento to be part of the second anniversary event this morning.
She described the experience as transformative.
“I’m 76, and for the very first time in my life, I felt it was time my voice was heard,” she said. “It gives you restoration in your faith in humanity.”
Ubaldi joined thousands of women, young people, activists and families during Saturday’s second annual Sacramento Women’s March. Similar events took place across the country and drew tens of thousands of people to the streets to support women’s rights and oppose President Donald Trump and his policies.
Marchers convened as early as 9 a.m. at Southside Park, and the procession headed down Capitol Mall before ending their march of just over a mile at the statehouse for a rally and speeches.
Local march co-chairwoman Annie Adams said she and fellow organizers expected maybe 5,000 people to show up this year. “We weren’t sure if people were feeling march fatigue,” she said. “But we have had at least the turnout that we had last year.”
In the end, while there was no official figure for Sacramento’s crowd size, Adams estimated more than 35,000 people attended this year. Marches drew similarly large crowds nationwide. In New York City, an estimated 120,000 took the streets. In nearby Oakland, some 30,000 held signs and shouted, and 20,000 were reported in San Jose.
Activists toted dozens of signs celebrating #MeToo, and speeches at the Capitol steps championed the movement. Alicia Lewis, who co-founded the We Said Enough campaign that highlighted sexual misconduct and harassment at the Capitol, drew cheers during her speech.
“Look to the men in your lives and tell them to get into line. We are not asking. We are not stepping aside,” Lewis told the crowd.
Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby also offered inspiration for the thousands who marched. “The final chapter of this story is already written,” she said. “Spoiler alert: We win this fight.”
And the women’s march movement showed no signs of letting up. When asked if she’d return in 2019, Louise Ubaldi was unequivocal: “Absolutely, I’ll be here.”