A group of protesters met outside of Lodi City Hall on Wednesday December 16th, 2020 around 7:00pm to demand Lodi become a “Sanctuary City” for businesses and schools.
This comes as a response to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders to shut down non-essential and non-retail businesses as part of his COVID-19 blueprint. COVID-19 cases continue to increase, and San Joaquin Valley’s (one of California’s five regions for the COVID-19 blueprint) hospital ICU capacity has dwindled below 15%.
Protesters marched in front of City Hall as Lodi City Council swore in two new Council Members and appointed the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore for the next year. Those who gathered found a call to action among various Lodi Facebook pages.
A small business owner from Lodi live streamed the protest, showing marchers with an American Flag and Gadsden Flag demanding businesses and schools to be opened.
Lodi resident Monica Davenport spoke in front of the council on a non-agenda item through the camera on her phone as she was marching in front of City Hall. She asked for Lodi to follow Atwater’s example in opening businesses. The Council was unable to respond since the comment was a non-agenda item.
Near the beginning of the pandemic, Lodi’s City Council had instructed the Lodi Police Department not to enforce business closure mandates. Instead, the Police Department would educate those on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.