As the capital of California, Sacramento has always been a hub of social activism and political advocacy. Activism in Sacramento now has changed drastically since the issuance of the city’s shelter-in-place order. While people cannot hold large in-person actions, logistical organizing and online actions are as important as ever.
Founder of Fridays For Futures Sacramento, Supriya Patel, explained “Organizing during quarantine definitely presents challenges, especially for the climate movement, which relies heavily on physical actions like strikes. While only some of our organizing used to occur online, Fridays For Future Sacramento has had to shift our organizing entirely online. When it comes to digital actions, however, the youth climate movement is fortunate, because as members of Generation Z, all of us have pretty much grown using the internet.”
All areas of activism have been deeply impacted by changes in how people must organize. GenUp Sacramento Co-president, Kieu Ahn Nguyen Le, explained “There were a lot of things on the burner before quarantine and now it has all slowed down. We were hoping to work on awareness and recruitment, but because we are only limited to technology, how far we can reach out is very limited. I have to keep in mind that the world will start again and this time we’ve been given could be an advantage. I’m hoping to do work out plans so we can hit the ground running.”
The changes posed by social distancing can be difficult for many, however this may provide ample time and opportunity for community members to get involved. Nguyen Le explained “You don’t need to push yourself to do absolutely everything, but if you have the ability to, think about how you can make the best of this time. Reach out to people because they are likely feeling the same need for activism during this time as you are.”
Getting involved in local activism is a way for many to harness their anxieties about the world and channel them into something productive, in times of so much uncertainty, Patel remarked: “Organizing also provides community during a time when we’re all physically distant, which is really powerful.”
Getting community members involved is extremely important to efforts for justice. Patel continued “To those who are looking to organize during this time, there’s so much that you can do. If you’re interested in electoral organizing, I would highly recommend phone banking and texting. The internet is also a great resource for finding local organizations, so I would recommend emailing and messaging groups on social media who you’d like to get more involved with.”