[KHTS] – California March for Democracy protesters plan to pass through Santa Clarita on Monday as part of their 37-day, 480-mile journey to reach the state’s capital on foot.
They departed from Los Angeles on Saturday on a mission to deliver a petition to California’s leaders demanding they publicly acknowledge “the crisis of corruption” in America’s democracy and take immediate action to end it, officials said.
“We are marching because of the crisis of disruption of our democracy,” said Kai Newkirk, the march’s organizer. “The spirit of it is that we want to challenge our elected officials to step up and take leadership, so we’re reaching out to them to give them the courage and support to stand with the people, not just the wealthiest donors that they’re dependent on to win elections. We have to step up and save our democracy.”
Protesters are scheduled to enter Newhall Monday afternoon and march through Santa Clarita to Copper Hill and San Francisquito Canyon, where they will end for the day.
Organizers have planned an event at College of the Canyons for Monday night, but had not yet received confirmation from the school as of Monday morning.
They plan to spend the night at the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area campgrounds, and depart from San Francisquito Canyon marching toward Green Valley on Tuesday morning.
While Santa Clarita residents who support the cause are encouraged to join the group and just walk for the day, or as long as possible, those who plan to make it all the way to Sacramento are in for a long journey.
“We’ll be staying at campgrounds, people’s homes, churches– wherever folks who believe in the cause can step up and provide hospitality for us,” Newkirk said.
Approximately 20 people began the march from Los Angeles, with more supporters coming to Santa Clarita from other parts of the state and the country on Monday to join them, he said.
Organizers are hoping for hundreds of people to end the march with them in Sacramento.
“As the word gets out more and more widely, we hope that folks who come and join will walk with us the rest of the way,” Newkirk said.
Supporters can sign a petition online that will be delivered to the Capitol demanding the California legislature take three specific actions: issue a formal call for a federal Constitutional Convention to propose an amendment outlawing big money corruption; give California’s voters the chance to formally speak to members of the U.S. Congress about proposing the amendment and ratifying it; and pass an act that would require top donors in elections be prominently revealed in every political ad they fund.
“If they haven’t heard that message and responded to it by the time we get there, then we’re going to stay there physically until they do,” Newkirk said. “So we’ll be in the Capitol until they respond and take leadership to address this crisis. If they choose to have people arrested, people are prepared for that, but we come in the spirit of love for our country and reaching out to leadership.”