Thousands to March and Rally in San Jose for Women’s March: Hear Our Vote

Thousands to March and Rally in San Jose for Women’s March: Hear Our Vote

Rally featuring community leaders to kick of year of action aimed at getting people to run, vote and support marginalized communities.

San Jose, CA. January 18, 2018 -  Thousands of women and their allies are expected to attend the 2018 Women’s March San Jose: Hear Our Vote Saturday, January 20. The event kicks off with a march at City Hall at 11 a.m. and leads to a rally starting at noon at Arena Green East. Roughly 40,000 people showed up for the inaugural event in 2017 and volunteer organizers are planning for a solid turn out again this year.

“We hope participating in this year’s March will inspire people to get involved and make a difference in our community.” says Jenny Bradanini, Co-Lead of Women’s March San Jose. “This year has brought women closer together, and they have realized they are not alone. There is always someone standing with them, supporting them, and believing them. We will drive that momentum to the voting booth.”

An impressive array of women who are solving problems in the community will speak about the importance of getting organized and engaged. Reproductive rights, immigration, DACA, civil rights, LGBTQIA rights, social justice and the #metoo movement are just some of the themes speakers will address. There will also be a strong message of support for each other’s struggles and triumphs.

“The first Women’s March encouraged thousands of women to take seats on decision making tables in their communities. We really hope this year another wave of women and our allies find their own voice and step up to lead,” says Chandra Brooks, Women’s March San Jose community advisory committee member.

This year’s all-female speaker line-up focuses on girls and women who are changemakers in their own communities. They’ve created apps, like one that helps Dreamers find resources to go to college, provided services for survivors of gender-based violence, and created safe spaces for some of our most vulnerable populations.

“We are fortunate to live in a place where women of all ages are stepping up to address problems they see in their own communities.” says Vicky Mattson, Co-Lead of Women’s March San Jose. “We are looking forward to raising the voices of this diverse group of women leaders, and hopefully inspiring others to advocate for change.”

The March and Rally are both family-friendly events, with food, children’s activities, and a Call to Action Alley, where 45 booths will be staffed by local non-profit and grassroots organizations. Participants at the rally can register to vote, sign up to volunteer, and learn about organizations that support the rich diversity of Santa Clara County. It is strongly encouraged that people take public transit to the event.

At the Rally:
MC: Mia Amor

Maria “Mia Amor” Sanchez is a Salvadoran-American on-air personality, voice-over pro and influencer. Known for her sassy personality, Sanchez joined the Entercom family in 2014 and is currently the co-host of the morning show on Q102.1 FM - “Joey V & Mia Amor in the Morning"

Rally Speakers: (alphabetized by last name)
Gabrielle Antolovich
has been the Board President of the volunteer-run Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center for the past three years, creating greater unity within the community and with allies, especially since the presidential elections.

ASHA, Artist, Educator, and Revolutionary
Asha is an 8th grade teacher in San Jose at Monroe Middle school. She is an international poet, striving to use art to create radical change. Recently on the cover of Content Magazine, Asha consistently uses her platform to voice out against injustice and to speak up for those ancestors who have been marginalized and oppressed for centuries.

Chandra Brooks, Author, Social Entrepreneur, Community, social and civil rights activist
Chandra Brooks is passionate for her community, civil rights, social justice, and improving voter outcomes and civic engagement in communities of color. She is the former Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Commissioner of Santa Clara County’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and Chair of the Justice and Advocacy Committee that manages the Commissions oversight of Elmwood’s Women’s Correctional Facility. In 2017, Chandra launched The SocialPreneur, a purpose-driven business that prepares potential candidates to get ready to run for political office, and mentors women to own their power and leadership within their company, business and/or community.

Coalition of South Bay organizations supporting survivors of gender-based violence.

Kimberly Ellis
Kimberly Ellis revolutionized Democratic politics in California through her work as the first African-American Executive Director in Emerge America’s national network.  With more than a decade’s experience in developing, implementing and growing training programs to empower women to run for office successfully, under her leadership, Emerge California quadrupled in size, expanding its reach, effectiveness and visibility.

Today, more than half of Emerge California’s 400 alumnae currently serve in elected or appointed office.

Ketzal Gomez
Ketzal Gomez, born and raised in San José, is a Chicana community organizer who has been involved in social justice issues for over a decade. She currently works for Santa Clara County’s Office of Women’s Policy, where her work focuses on women and girls affected by the justice system, and on women and girl leadership.

Maria Gonzalez, Janitorial Worker, Sexual Assault Survivor, Co-lead of Ya Basta
Maria Gonzalez is a janitorial worker who works at Facebook, who is a survivor of workplace sexual assault and harassment, as featured in Frontline's Rape on the Night Shift episode. She is a leader in the Ya Basta movement which has passed legislation to protect women in the janitorial industry from assault and harassment in the workplace and is still working to win even greater protections. She is the mother of three successful young women, including a Dreamer, whom she is dedicated to protecting as well.

Martha Hernandez, MadeBOS Founder and CEO
Born in Oakland, CA Martha Hernández grew up in Chavinda, Michoacán, Mexico. At age 7 she began selling chicken outside her house with her mother and sisters to survive. It was a job only men did. Since then her feminism and entrepreneurial spirit was born.

Currently, Martha is the Founder and CEO of madeBOS, a smart, AI driven, career pathing platform that creates economic mobility for entry level workers in retail and adjacent sectors by empowering them to drive their own development. She has a successful track record strategizing and delivering critical human capital initiatives, technical implementations and integrations. Martha has served in several Talent Acquisition and Talent Management and Sales leadership roles for organizations such as Coro, Give Something Back, Mi Pueblo Food Centers, Inner City Advisors' Talent Management Initiative and prior to launching madeBOS, she was Save Mart Supermarkets' Director of Talent Acquisition.

Helen Kassa, Santa Clara University student, emerging social entrepreneur and humanitarian
Helen Kassa is an emerging social entrepreneur and has been involved in humanitarian and community services since she was eight-years old. She is currently a sophomore at Santa Clara University and her family heritage is Ethiopian. At age eight, she founded a humanitarian educational program here in the United States and in Ethiopia, called Giving Hope to Kids Like Me. The primary focus of her work is the utilization of education as a tool to help communities raise themselves out of poverty. She had completed several trips back to her family homeland and has adopted a K-8 school in Ethiopia with over 1200 students and has provided school supplies and teaching aids and has built a science lab.

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, DREAMers Roadmap Founder and CEO, 2014 White House Champion of Change
Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca is the Founder and CEO of DREAMers Roadmap, a mobile app platform that helps undocumented students navigate the necessary resources to access higher education. This is Sarahi’s latest project in a longer trajectory of activism within and for the undocumented community, which has placed her in the spotlight of continued conversations centered on national immigration policy.

Sarahi was a Champion of Change at the White House in 2014, has received 2 House of Representatives Awards, and was recently named in Forbes 30 under 30. A former undocumented student who once had to drop out of school to support her family, Sarahi’s personal experience informs her unwavering vision: to help hundreds of thousands of Latino students eliminate the barriers to success and achieve their full potential.

Aejaie Sellers  Transgender Community Advocate
Aejaie is a successful coach, mentor, and business owner. She is an active member and outspoken advocate for the Transgender community.

Van Lan Truong, Management Analyst at Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services, long-time community activist
Van Lan Truong had a lifelong track record as a Vietnamese community organizer and advocate She is former policy Aide from Supervisor Cindy Chavez and has extensive knowledge in working with the Vietnamese Community in the U.S., having served as a co-founder of the National Congress of Vietnamese Americans and founder of the Vietnamese American Women’s League of Massachusetts.  She is passionate about organizing the Vietnamese community in all aspects for social change and social justice.  

Sameena Usman, Government Relations Coordinator, Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Sameena Usman serves as the Government Relations Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area office, where she works with elected officials in advocating for impactful legislation, connects them with their constituents, and provides information about the Bay Area Muslim community and their concerns - including civil rights issues.  Through her work, she actively builds bridges with various communities and conducts interfaith dialogue. 

Aisha Wahab, Progressive Change Agent in Government, Business, Non-Profit, & Community. Proud Millennial, Author, Organizer & Human
Aisha Wahab is a dynamic individual with experience in policy, technology, business, international relations and local community work. A talented woman who is at the intersection of social impact, technology, and community organizing. Her broad-based experience has allowed her to serve in a variety of different leadership positions which have allowed her to use her skills and influence a multitude of projects for both public, private and non-profit industries.

Sophia Yen, MD MPH, CEO and Co-Founder of PandiaHealth, #reprorights advocate
Sophia Yen, MD MPH is CEO and Co-Founder of PandiaHealth, which brings prescription birth control to women wherever they have internet and a mailbox. She has been a #reprorights advocate and feminist since 13 years old and founded the Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women and co-founded She grew up in the Bay Area, graduated MIT, UCSF Medical school. UC Berkeley with an MPH. Mother of 2 strong, smart, activist daughters and wife to a feminist husband.

Young leaders from QueenHype and Downtown College Prep’s RISE UP group

Performers include Monica Pasqual, DJ Andre, Blimes Brixton, Akoma Arts, and Ishmeet Narula.

About Women’s March San Jose
Women’s March San Jose operates as a grassroots non-profit organization that is part of a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties and social justice for all.  We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families - - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

FOR MEDIA: B-roll and images from 2017 marches, impact statements for 2018 and other materials are available. Please register for press credentials for access to on-site press facilities.

Media inquiries:


In Spirit, but Not On Stage

In Spirit, but Not On Stage

This year’s theme, kicking off with our march and rally, is “Hear Our Vote,” centering on five actions:

  • Registering to vote
  • Mobilizing to the polls
  • Organizing locally, as even the many Americans who can’t vote are hugely impactful on elections
  • Electing more women - especially women of color - and allies
  • Running for office (women!)

So why, then, are some of the local female elected officials NOT on-stage this Saturday? Why are Supervisors Ronen and Lee Fewer selected from among their peers on a predominantly female Board of Supervisors to speak on behalf of women in politics?

The answer is simple. Women’s March Bay Area is a 501c3 and as such can’t engage in partisan politics. Any action that’d be potentially interpreted as endorsing a candidate puts our nonprofit status at risk, which in turn makes our organizing more challenging. We can’t feature any politicians engaged in an active campaign on-stage.

The irony is not lost on us that as we have a city and state that exemplify to the rest of the country what we’re hoping for in terms of representative politics, we won’t be able to directly pay tribute to the work of these women from our stage.

Please know we celebrate them. We honor them. We hope to see them among our marchers, and we’re happy to bring light to so many of the issues at stake in coming elections so they’re connecting to a more informed voter base in this summer’s special election and in the fall midterms.

Thank you,

Women’s March San Francisco


Women’s March San Francisco Announces Speakers for its "Hear Our Vote" Rally

Women’s March San Francisco Announces Speakers for its "Hear Our Vote" Rally

Powerful All-Female Lineup Will Focus on Issues Under Threat by Current Administration

San Francisco, CA -- January 12, 2018: The countdown is on for Women's March San Francisco's January 20 "Hear Our Vote" rally and march taking place in San Francisco’s Civic Center. The organization today announces an incredible speaker lineup who will address issues ranging from DACA and #MeToo to the Muslim Ban and homelessness. The all-female speaker lineup will also address the importance of representation at all levels of government.

With a focus on the importance of elections, "Hear Our Vote" is the theme for Women’s March California in 2018, and centers on five levels of action:

  • Voter Registration
  • Voter Turnout
  • Local Organization
  • Increasing women in office (especially women of color)
  • Electing progressive women and allies

Only 54 percent of women in California are registered to vote, which is in the bottom third of U.S. states, and of that group only 45 percent turned out to vote in the 2016 election.

“After last year’s march, we were honored to partner with groups working for social justice throughout the year,” said Sophia Andary, co-lead of Women’s March San Francisco. “ We’ve also been inspired by the huge swell of women running for and winning office and by the impact of grassroots activism on election results. With so much at stake at the polls this year, our mission is clear - let’s show up on ballots and at polls to effect change!”

The speakers will be in front of San Francisco’s City Hall, currently run by a black woman Mayor - the first for San Francisco, and only the second woman to hold the spot - and the rally begins at 12 noon. Attendees are encouraged to take public transit (buy tickets in advance!) and to gather by 11:30 a.m.  Volunteer opportunities and more can be found at and registrations are encouraged to help ensure a safe and accessible event for all.

Women’s March San Francisco is a 501c3 and will not feature any active candidates on-stage. Any politicians currently running for office will not be able to participate in programming. 

“We planned this action long before the untimely death of Mayor Lee, and are excited to be able to give such a visible platform to issues that are at the heart of the changing landscape in San Francisco,” said Janete Perez, co-lead of Women’s March San Francisco. “The City will have the opportunity to choose among a predominantly female field in the summer’s special election, which could result in the second female Mayor of San Francisco - or the first female Mayor of color.” 

Confirmed Speakers, in alphabetical order by first name:

Aimee Allison:  President of Democracy in Color, an organization that focuses on race, politics and the New American Majority that  worked to elect President Barack Obama, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kamala Harris, and other leaders who carry a social justice agenda. She is host of the “Democracy in Color” podcast. Aimee has launched "Get in Formation", a national call for Black women to support Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia. She is the author of Army of None (Seven Stories Press, 2007)

Alex U. Inn: Bay Area Artivist/Activist, 2017 SF Pride Community Grand Marshal, Friends of Harvey Milk Board President, Founder of KINGDOM! Drag King House. Recipient of the The LGBTQ Center Honors Award for Community Leadership, Hank Wilson Activist Award, and waiting to hear if selected for Barrack Obama Foundation Fellowship Award.

Brittany Packnett: Catalyzed by the death of Michael Brown, Brittany is a Ferguson protestor and served on President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force and the Ferguson Commission, helping bring protestor voice to policy change. In 2015, Brittany helped launch Campaign Zero, a comprehensive policy platform to end police violence. 

Cecilia Chung: Senior Director of Strategic Projects for Transgender Law Center, Cecilia is nationally recognized as an advocate for human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBT equality. She was the former Chair of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and is currently serving on the Health Commission. Cecilia has been working tirelessly on the local, national and international levels to improve access to treatment for transgender people and people living with HIV, and to erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, advocacy, and visibility.

Heather Hargreaves: As the Executive Director for NextGen America, Heather organizes for climate justice, as well as immigrant rights, affordable health care, and core American values. She previously ran NextGen’s electoral program in 2016, including a focus on mobilizing Millennial voters, worked to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation with the non-profit Alliance for Climate Protection, and was the General Election Director for President Barack Obama’s campaign in the battleground state of Nevada.

Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Sandra Lee Fewer: Representatives on the Board of Supervisors, the legislative body of the City and County of San Francisco, currently led by a majority of women for the first time in its history. Serving District 9, including the Mission, Portola, and Bernal Heights, Supervisor Ronen has focused on addressing street homelessness as a leading advocate for Navigation Centers, expanding affordable housing, ensuring public safety, and protecting the culture and character of San Francisco neighborhoods through the creation of Cultural Districts. Representing District 1, the Richmond, Supervisor Fewer has prioritized affordable housing for low income residents and working families, long-term solutions for homelessness, and has worked to improve public transportation in the Richmond and throughout the city.

Jacquelynn Evans Gbogboade and Jennifer Friedenbach: Jacquelynn is an activist and advocate for those experiencing homelessness. Formerly homeless herself, her lived experience shapes her work today. Jennifer is the Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness. She has also worked as Executive Director at Hunger and Homeless Action Coalition of San Mateo County for over five years. 

Joy Elan: An award-winning author and spoken word artist from Oakland and Berkeley, Joy uses her writing to advocate for civil rights for people of color, women, and people with disabilities. She has received Table of Honor in some of the international book festival categories. Joy was born with a hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids since she was 15 months. Despite the obstacles she faced, she overcame many of them and continues to overcome obstacles.

Kanyon Sayers-Roods:  A Costanoan Ohlone and Chumash, Kanyon is a Native American artist, poet, author, activist, student, and teacher. She will open the rally with a traditional blessing.

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi: Rabbi Katie Mizrahi, activist and Or Shalom’s spiritual leader, will lead an Interfaith Interlude.

Olga Talamante: The first female Executive Director of the Chicana Latina Foundation, Olga is well known for her community activism and has worked with several service-providing and public advocacy agencies, including Head Start, the YMCA, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Argentine Commission for Human Rights. Named one of the "Most Influential Latinos in the San Francisco Bay Area" and a "Heroine of the Latino Community" among other awards, Olga will address issues impacting immigrants and Dreamers. 

Ramona “Mona” Laughing Brook Webb (emcee): An Afro-Creek queer scholar practitioner, teaching performance artist who currently serves as the Associate Artistic Director of The Queer Cultural Center. The QCC is a multiracial community-building organization that fosters the artistic, economic and cultural development of the LGBTQQAAI community and for 20 years has produced the annual National Queer Arts Festival in the Bay Area. 

Sadalia King and Viviana Becerra:  Representing the We Said Enough campaign to end sexual assault and harassment, Sadalia is legislative aide and Viviana is the legislative director for Assemblymember Rob Bonta. Both were signatories on the open letter published in the LA Times by women working in state government, shedding light on and calling for an end to the pervasive culture of sexism, harassment, and assault within the Capitol. This action was featured among the Silence Breakers on TIME Magazine’s historic cover

Zahra Billoo: A civil rights attorney and the Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Zahra was a featured speaker at the Women’s March on Washington and last year sued the Trump Administration to challenge the “Muslim Ban” Executive Orders.

ENCORE SPEAKER: Andrea Dew Steele, the President and Founder of Emerge America and the Co-Founder of Emerge California, has worked tirelessly to develop a top-notch training program to get women elected. Emerge currently has training programs in 24 states across the country with plans to expand in the future – and Andrea will inspire future leaders hidden in the march’s audience to run!

FOR MEDIA: B-roll and images from 2017 marches, impact statements for 2018 and other materials are available. Please register for press credentials for access to on-site press facilities.

Media inquiries:




San Francisco & San Jose, CA – November 8, 2017 – Women’s March Bay Area (WMBA) today announces plans for action on Saturday, January 20th, 2018 – ‘Hear Our Vote.’ Save the date to activate and engage in San Francisco and San Jose.

Since the historic Women’s March on January 21, 2017, where hundreds of thousands of folks showed up across the Bay Area, WMBA has been working to turn a moment into a movement.  Next January’s actions will focus on getting out the vote in the 2018 midterm elections. The year will focus on getting more women and allies into office and other leadership positions, with actions focused on voter registration, voter mobilization, supporting women running for office, and electing more women in more offices.

“The San Francisco march was the very last of hundreds of sister marches across the US last January, and watching folks pour through the streets under a downpour of rain, with a pink-lit City Hall in the background lit a fire in me and many others,”said Sophia Andary co-lead of Women’s March San Francisco. “We had great local representation at the Women’s Convention in Detroit and can say without hesitation that the energy and work of women are changing this country.”

Women’s March is a female-led movement providing intersectional education on a range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage with/in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. The focus on voter education, voter outreach, and voter empowerment are encompassed in the actions’ theme, “Hear Our Vote!”

“Last year’s election compelled many of us to a level of action and activism that has changed our lives and our communities, forging connections across groups that have otherwise been siloed,” said Jenny Bradanini, co-lead of Women’s March San Jose. “As is clear from the unprecedented number of women candidates this cycle, the grassroots movement has taken hold. First we marched, now we run!”

The WMBA marches are two of eighteen planned across California that day, the state’s part of a national movement to unify and empower those who stand for women’s rights, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all.

For more information, visit, media inquiries:

WHAT:    Women’s March Bay Area March “Hear Our Vote” March and Rally

WHEN:    Saturday, January 20th, 2018

WHERE:  San Francisco Civic Center   (11:30 - 3:30PM)
                San Jose City Hall   (11:00AM - 2:30PM)


CONTACT: Martha Shaughnessy - 415.987.0285