Demonstrators from several organizations across the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys carried out a “Listen to the Community” car caravan between the two offices of Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) on Friday.
The Santa Clarita caravan made its way from Heritage Park to Garcia’s office on Valencia Boulevard, while a larger group of about 20 cars made their way to his office near Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park in Lancaster. Organizations leading the caravans included the SCV and AV chapters of Our Revolution, as well as representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union, Progressive Democrats of America, the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Community Organizing and the community volunteering organization SALVA.
Our Revolution started in 2016 as a political organization developing from the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) with the goal of “building a national grassroots movement of local groups powerful enough to win progressive issue fights” and “transform the Democratic Party,” according to their website.
Messages on the backs of cars and on large signs made by the demonstrators read “Resign Mike Garcia” and “Garcia Against Healthcare.”
Our Revolution SCV president Shawnee Badger said their protest was a sibling protest to a larger gathering hosted by Our Revolution Antelope Valley.
Badger explained the purpose of the caravan for her was bigger than solidarity.
“He has not had an inclusive town hall with diverse voices and his recent actions with his vote to overturn the election and his support of [Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia)],” Badger said. “Those actions alone are big in the eyes of Our Revolution. We want to make sure Mike Garcia is held accountable.”
Badger went on to explain what expectation she has for the community actions that have taken place.
“Personally I’d like to see Mike Garcia resign — that’s what I am advocating for,” said Badger.
Upon arrival, the SCV group honked their horns for the duration of the protest, until their actions abruptly ended due to an office worker demanding protesters to leave.
The group dispersed at approximately 5 p.m. after the worker threatened to call in deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department.
The Antelope Valley chapter’s car caravan was also an act of solidarity with the ACLU, who requested a meeting with Garcia but their request was declined, said Our Revolution AV president Wade Alexander.
Alexander said he didn’t believe Garcia would respond to the caravan stating, “he won’t respond to anything that will generate bad press.”
“I think the message got through to the community that there are a lot of people who are disenfranchised and who aren’t being heard,” Wade later said on Saturday.
The demonstrations come after Garcia voted no on the Equality Act, a bill intended to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. While the bill passed 224-206, Garcia voted against this bill. Only three House Republicans voted for the bill.
Hours after the protests, Garcia later voted “no” on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package. Votes were cast along partisan lines, with all House Republicans voting against the bill and only two House Democrats also voting against it.