Lawmakers protest at State Capitol for ‘Reopen Cal Now’

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(KTXL) — A small protest was held at the State Capitol Saturday evening, but unlike other times, it mostly consisted of local lawmakers. 

It’s all part of a three-day conference being held in a small Sacramento County town in hopes of reopening the state. 

The protest lasted about an hour and there were no major incidents. 

On the steps of the Capitol, 30-40 lawmakers from 10 different counties reiterated the same point — shutting down society is not the answer. 

“I don’t believe there’s any reason for locking down the society,” said Patricia Hilliker, a Reopen Cal Now supporter. 

Hilliker was one of about 50 people from the public who showed up to support the lawmakers. They didn’t get to join the lawmakers, however. The public was kept back at the gates. 

Hilliker says she has already seen the negative effects of the shutdown herself. 

“I have two daughters in their 20’s. They can’t attend class and they can’t do anything,” Hilliker said. “They are turning to substance abuse and depression because nothing is open.”

She and others hope thing start reopening soon. 

Lawmakers at the protest stressed lockdowns do not work. 

Organizers of the conference, which was held in Rancho Murieta, say state leaders aren’t telling the public the whole story when it comes to the pandemic. They say local lawmakers will learn about how to manage the shutdown, revive their economy and take back control. 

“Small businesses are telling me, ‘Sue whatever you are doing sounds really good, but if they don’t open soon we are not going to be here,’” said Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost. 

“The numbers of people who are going to get sick and unfortunately pass away, are probably going to be about the same regardless of lockdowns or not,” said Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt. “It may even be less with no lockdowns. However, the damage because of the lockdowns on so many levels are quantifiable and horrible. It needs to stop.”

It’s a message Steven Bourasa, a Sacramento County resident, is pleased to hear. 

“I’m encouraged to see a group that is advocating for the businesses and asking the governor to open up. It makes me feel like they have our back,” Bourasa said. 

The conference has been deemed to be in violation of state and local heath orders by the Sacramento County Public Health Department. It is also potentially a super-spreader event. 

But organizers say they are taking all precautions to slow the spread of the virus. 

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