By Johnny Villavicencio, Political Vice-Chair of Organize Win Legislate (OWL)
On Saturday June 17th, Organize Win Legislate-Sacramento (OWLS) hosted it's second phone bank to turn out the vote for a congressional race happening on the other side of the country. Over 40 people donated their Saturday afternoons in support of a movement that has seen previously non-politically minded people turning out in droves; feeling the necessity to step up and fight for the rights of not just themselves, but for their friends and loved ones, neighbors, and total strangers. At one point, I took stock of the room, inspired and humbled by the turnout, and I noticed something that has become par for the course since the election; the majority of the room was female.
November 8th, 2016 was a bleak day for many of us. My perception of who we are as a country was shattered. I spent November 9th commiserating with friends and coworkers, alternating between tears and numbness, and I know I was not the only one. While some of us were wallowing in grief, the leadership of Fem Dems was already hard at work, organizing the way forward. Due to their efforts, on November 11th, over 200 angry and frustrated people gathered to talk about what had happened, and what we could do in response. This meeting was a microcosm of what has happened across the country since the election. New local grassroots organizations have been created, existing ones have seen their membership swell, and the story is the same from coast to coast; not content to simply talk about what values our country should project, women are showing up to do the work that is needed to bring that vision to fruition.
Being the Political Vice Chair of Organize Win Legislate, and heavily involved with Sacramento County Young Democrats, has afforded me the opportunity to see what the best of Sacramento has to offer. As I take stock of the work that OWLS’s committees have done so far (all chaired by women), and as I participate in educational and volunteer events created, staffed, and hosted by the members and leaders of Fem Dems and SCYD, one thing is abundantly clear; women across the country are finding their voices and refusing to accept being silenced. The future is female, and it's in good hands.