On Monday, I had the privilege of attending Planned Parenthood’s Capitol Day in Sacramento. I have always been passionate about politics and social matters, but for the first time in my life, I feel a huge sense of civic responsibility. I cannot let the work of all of the female activists who came before me to be lost. It is our turn now to pick up the torch and stand up for what we believe in.
I attended a training the week before, about the plan for the day, and what we would be lobbying for. This was my first time doing anything like this, so I was nervous and excited.
At midnight, I checked-in and boarded a bus to Sacramento. By the time we arrived, I had already made friends with some amazing women. It was so nice to be surrounded by a diverse group of passionate and warm women and male allies. Being able to tap into a group of like-minded people made me feel less alone in the world.
We made our signs and attended the rally which hosted some amazing speakers: Spoken Word Poet Windie Win, Director of Constituency Organizing at Planned Parenthood Federation of America Kersha Dreibel, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, and many more.
Next we broke into small groups to lobby members for planned parenthood. I was assigned to meet up with Senate Minority Leader Patricia Bates. I knew I had to set my expectations, because she is a Republican with a poor voting record in supporting Planned Parenthood. She is a woman who lives in my backyard and who is supposed to work for the people she serves, yet she did not make time to meet with us. We instead met with her aid.
We explained to her that Planned Parenthood is currently under attack on all fronts. (If you want to know more about what is going on with Planned Parenthood at a Federal level, check out this blog post.) The most immediate threat to Planned Parenthood is the low medical reimbursement rates. Facilities are having trouble keeping their doors open. Planned Parenthood is a integral part of the healthcare safety net in California. Planned Parenthood provides preventative and reproductive health screenings to more than 850,000 people in California.
We asked that $50 million dollars from the tobacco tax be set aside to increase medical reimbursements for family planning services, and that she sign a letter stating that she stands with Planned Parenthood. Obviously Senator Bates was not at the meeting, so we were not able to get the signed letter that day. Planned Parenthood and I will continue to follow up with her in hopes of getting the letter signed.
I thought that the Planned Parenthood Action Fund did an amazing job with this event. I don’t think the Capitol is going to be able to forget the sea of pink that invaded that day. I know I won’t ever forget this experience. I want to thank all of the staff at the Community Action Fund of PP Orange and San Bernardino Counties for all they did to make this day happen.
Here is a video of my day:
To donate or get involved visit:
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Community Action Fund of PP Orange and San Bernardino Counties