Women’s March SLO founder and organizer Dawn Addis has thrown her hat into the ring for a spot on the Morro Bay City Council. Addis, who formed the Women’s March SLO just after the federal election in 2016, has had the group in the forefront protesting many humanitarian issues and has garnered the respect of Congressman Salud Carbajal as well as state and county officials.
“I was not encouraged with the election results at the time,” Addis said, “and felt there were a number of things that were important to address.” At that time many protest groups sprang up and Addis saw a variety of protest events occurring. She has always felt that it is important to look at the big picture and all the multiple parts of an issue. “I do not want to demonize anyone even if I am angry and frustrated with them,” she said, “I still see them as human beings.”
In forming Women’s March SLO Addis looked at the Californian Women’s March and the national movement. “I looked to see what was behind the Women’s March and find what resonated with me,” she said, “I wanted to follow the Kingian principle of nonviolence that works towards the ideals you want in place but is not attacking people.” Addis’ purpose like King’s is to create forward movement and bring people together. What she hadn’t figured on was the fact that the movement would become so large and so popular.
Addis explains that the Women’s March California began to coordinate people who were organizing to travel to Washington DC to protest. They contacted all local organizers across the state like her group and everyone participated on weekly organizing phone calls and focused on the logistics of such a march to make it safe and yet accessible for anyone to come and voice their feelings. Much of this resistance movement centered around several degrading comments about women made by the President. Women took to wearing pink piggy hats and “Nasty Woman” buttons due to those comments.
The original Women’s March that took place in DC and all over the country was tremendously successful. Millions came out and marched. Addis’ group marched in San Luis Obispo and attracted 10,000 supporters. Women’s March SLO has gone on to support with demonstrations and informational gatherings the attack against immigrants, the separation of immigrant children from their parents, and the gun violence situation being faced by students everywhere.
“We have our eyes and ears open,” Addis commented, “and are always listening to the community and their needs and searching for what kind of gaps we can fill in.” With that in mind, Women’s March SLO is taking some of the funds raised for their support and developing grants for San Luis students to apply for funds to carry out projects that tie-in with the principles of the Women’s March SLO. Addis hopes to have that grant process in place by the start of the school year.
To make her life more interesting and because she has a soft place in her heart for the town she lives in, Addis decided to place her name on the November ballot for a spot on the city council. “I think the local council representative affects people’s day to day lives,” she explained. “A lot happens at the federal level but for residents, local issues such as their ability to afford rent, or have pot holes in the street fixed, or enjoy the environment, these issues are more important, and these are the things affected by city government.”
Addis feels strongly that every election matters and every voice matters. “We have something good here and it is worth saving and promoting,” she said, “we need to look at how we can prosper but still protect the things we love. This is a pivotal time in our nation and changes percolate down from the top, but I fell we need to have it percolate up from the bottom.”
In her campaign Addis and her team are looking at the many things that need to be solved here, such as poverty, high rents, and development. She feels we need more young people in city government and hopes more will decide to run for office. “I also feel it is very important for Americans to get involved in our democracy no matter what their views are,” she said, “no matter what party one identifies with or how they identify, whether left, right or central, liberal or conservative. This year the November election is important, and it matters differently than any other election has.”
Addis strongly encourages people to get out and vote. If someone is not registered or has moved the time to register is now and it can be done online. “Don’t wait until November 6th,” she cautions. She also encourages parents that may have a 16-year-old in their family to have them pre-register to vote to get them started on the right foot.
Addis campaign team is made up of people of all ages and stages. She does not believe this is just an old people’s town. She purposely has all voices on her campaign in terms of age, race, gender income level, employment, etc. This is a team that will represent the diverse interests of the residents of Morro Bay.
“There are a lot of hard decisions to be made in Morro Bay,” she said, “but people don’t exist to serve policy, policy exists to serve people.”
You can learn more about her campaign at www.dawnaddisforcitycouncil.com