On Tuesday, May 15, 2013, the day Governor Brown announced his May Budget Revise, I was honored to perform in a Women’s Foundation of California action that challenged Governor Brown’s budget priorities. I stood on the northern steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. I played Sam – a young woman who became ineligible for child care benefits because she received a dollar raise. (To learn more about the May 15, action, read our press release).
It was enlightening to learn so much about what life is like for Sam and many other women that find themselves in need of supplemental assistance and are faced with the stark realities of what can happen when very small shifts take place in their lives. I never would have imagined participating in an event like this.
But standing up there with my hand literally tied behind my back, I felt like I was part of a movement. I felt united with women across our state and our nation who are getting punished for simply being poor.
I was given hope when a group of young boys came up and started reading our signs and inquiring about our respective roles. I told them that although I was playing a character, these women are real and their struggles are faced every day. The boys were engaged and grateful to share in this experience. It was clear that they took away a much different narrative about poor women than they had arrived with.
This is how this movement will continue to touch all of our lives. I share this story to iterate that this issue is a fundamental human rights issue that affects us all. If one of us stands with our hand tied behind our back, we all do.