‘Votes for women!’ — 110 years ago marked the first time in California’s history a state political party organized a women’s suffrage rally.
A century later, women, transgender, black, Asian, Native American, non-binary and disabled Asian-Americans march in their thousands. But more than a century after the first women’s suffrage rally in Sacramento, it remains a controversial topic.
But this month, the California Democratic Party is holding its party’s second big political event in honor of International Women’s Day. At the end of last month, its Women’s March saw the largest turnout in the history of the state, with more than 10,000 California Democrats attending the march.
This has caused debate about what to do next for the party going forward.
This month, the party is holding its Women’s March at the same site where it was a century ago.
The site of the first Women’s March is a dirt lot now occupied by a McDonald’s, a Home Depot and more.
“People see this as a huge opportunity,” said Amanda Perez, a deputy District Director with the California Democratic Party. “We’ve been the party of change for decades, and this is an important moment for the entire party.”
“This is a very important moment for us, and it will be critical,” said Karen Tumlin, who was a Sacramento County supervisor and worked as field organizer for the California Democratic Party during the historic first march in 1913.
“We were ready to be a part of history — and this is it,” she said. “We will be remembered.”
And this time around they’ll be taking their message to the streets. But it appears some of the demands are a little different.
“There will definitely be more visibility for women of color and women of low-income communities in the march,” said Linda Pang, who was the chief organizer for the first California Women’s March.
“There will be a national moment for us to really be a part of change and a part of democracy,” said Pang, who lives in San Francisco. “We can’t back down from women who have different opportunities and different lives.”
The California Democratic Party began building the California Women’s March’s infrastructure this year, and Perez said even though there will not be the same amount of speakers, the rally will be more inclusive and diverse.