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Opinion

Mailbag: March for Women and equality on Jan. 18 in Santa Ana

Hundreds rally at a previous Laguna Beach women’s march.
Women march through Santa Ana in 2017. This year’s Orange County Women’s March is on Jan. 18.
(File Photo)

As we march toward the 2020 presidential elections, now is the time to speak up loudly for the values that matter to us. It is up to all of us, no matter where we are in life, to show that our rights matter. That is why I will march in the Orange County Women’s March on Jan. 18, and I call on you to march with me.

I march for all women, and especially for women’s rights in the workplace. In my decades of labor organizing, I’ve found that when we stand up for women workers, we stand up to protect and build our entire middle class.

Workers must demand fair pay and safe workplaces. It’s up to all of us to reject runaway corporate greed.

Worker’s rights are women’s rights. For women, and especially women of color, unions have a dramatic impact.

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According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics data analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women in union jobs earn 30% more per week than women in non-union jobs.

For Latinas, the rate is higher. Hispanic women in unions earn 40% more than their counterparts in non-union jobs.

A union contract is a firm protection to report and stop sexual harassment in the workplace. Without union contracts, workers find it more difficult to report harassment.

I march for immigrant women who face barriers far greater than many realize. I march for immigrant women who start each day working long hours while navigating language and cultural barriers.

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I march for immigrant women who end each night confronted by patriarchal standards that require women, and women alone, to serve their homes and families. The contributions of immigrant women deserve recognition. They uplift communities and build America.

On Jan. 18, let’s take another step for women’s pay, equal rights and human rights. Join me at the Orange County Women’s March.

Ada Briceño
Orange

The writer is co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11 and chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Marching for the generations

On Jan. 18, I’m lacing up my shoes, donning a pink cat hat and a clerical collar and taking to the streets of Santa Ana for the Orange County Women’s March.

I’m marching as a mother for my daughter Mollie and her great-great grandmother of the same name; our past and our future, inextricably linked to who we are, who we have been and who we shall be. We have never walked alone, each of us walking for someone who came before us, and someone who will come after.

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We shall march for and with them all. Lock step with the life-givers, who bore from strength and pain, their gifts to us: Mary, the mother of Jesus; Khadija the wife of Mohammad; Sarah, Abrahams’s wife; and Hagar, the mother of his first born son.

We march for Dorothy Day, and Mother Teresa, for Susan B. Anthony and Ida Wells, for Rosa Parks and Sacagawea, for Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We march for names we know, and the ones who never made the news, their stories no less compelling, their lives no less valued.

We march for dreams of what could have been and what will inevitably be. We march for all that we have accomplished and we march with a pledge for all that will come.

I will march as a pastor, a woman whose broken into “a man’s profession,” ordained and empowered to do holy work, mindful that God has called me, given me voice and marching orders. Gifted with the power of the Holy Spirit, seeking out the one thing she desires: justice.

Born out of the one love created for all. Even as God’s creation has been broken by violence, inequity and injustice, we shall march as sisters and brothers, siblings in Spirit, seeking justice and liberty for all.

Women of Orange County, join me! Men of O.C., this is your march too. If you believe in equality, lace up your shoes and bring a clever sign. I’ll bring my children, and you bring yours. Together we will march, neighbor with neighbor, sisters and brothers, for our past and our future and a celebration of the present power among us.

Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson-Cano
Fairview Community Church
Costa Mesa

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How to get published: Email us at john.canalis@latimes.com. All correspondence must include full name, hometown and phone number (for verification purposes). The Pilot reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length.

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