I had a meeting today at the County of Solano’s main office building in downtown Fairfield. Walking outside and across the plaza I noticed a long lineup of shoes and a little folding card table manned by a couple of women. At first I thought they were selling used shoes right there in front of the government offices. Dude, that takes some cojones. I thought to myself, hey, people gotta make a buck and they’re really being ballsy about it. I gotta give them some credit.
As I got closer, my curiosity got the better of me. It always does. That them there are a lot of shoes. Hmmm. Any cute ones?
They were so prettily displayed in a perfect arc and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the variety—heels, sandals, tennies, God-awful moccassins. By then I had to ask, “Hey ladies, what do you have going here?” And you know what? They weren’t selling shoes.
They were with SafeQuest Solano and were promoting Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a call-to-action walk called “Walk in Her Shoes” on Thursday, April 30 from 10-2 at Solano Community College.
The shoes represented the 128 reported cases of sexual assault that have occured in Solano County in the past year. The statistics indicate that only 20 to 25 percent of all cases are reported—most never get reported until violent bodily injury, usually hospitalization, has occurred.
Their motto is: Silence Hides Violence, and their symbol is the purple ribbon.
These ladies were out talking to anyone who would listen, hoping to inform, educate and inspire action in order to better the community that we live in as well as to advocate for those unable to do so—those who are too afraid to speak up. BRAVO! (For more information about Walk in Her Shoes, call Tineka at (707) 402-7813.)
About one hundred feet from these ladies, was a gentleman standing on the plaza corner with a sign raised over his head directed at oncoming traffic. He was alone and yet seemed very determined. I know that an hour prior about ten people were out on that same corner—all waving signs—but he said they had moved along to the next rally point and he was going to cover this corner as long as he could. He’d had back surgery about a month ago, and he figured he could last for an hour or two, so he was going to stand there until he couldn’t hold the sign up anymore. You go, dude!
I’m guessing he’s a Republican, but I could be totally wrong there.
Whatever the message, I applaud his commitment to get out and show people that he cares.
On March 13, Pink Friday, the California Teachers Association and its supporters were out with their signs and pink T-shirts—their tag was “Save California’s Schools”. An estimated 26,000 pink slips are expected to go out this year. Here are a bunch of kids across the street from where today’s guy (pictured above) was standing. It’s a popular corner for protesters. It’s right in front of some main county offices and there’s a busy Starbucks on that corner.
In this county, people are out speaking their minds quite a lot and everytime I see these bold, brave folks I get a little thrill. I’ve lived in countries where these actions are forbotten. You don’t realize how precious the right is until it’s taken away.
To all these folks who get out there for a cause—good for you. You are the reason that I love living here.