As women gather to march and rally in solidarity at 20 locations throughout California on Saturday, Jan. 20 — including Kern County — residents from Tehachapi will be among the crowd in Bakersfield.

Women’s March Kern County could attract some 1,000 participants, including women, men and entire families. And a bus from Tehachapi will make it easier to take part.

Local women said it’s important for them to be a part of the local march.

“Joining with other Kern County communities will strengthen our connections with the rest of the county. We will be bringing the experiences of greater Tehachapi to an event that addresses the collective issues of women and girls in Kern County,” said Ginny Tunks, a Tehachapi resident.

“As the theme of the march is voter engagement, I hope this will advance Tehachapi’s participation in voting at the upcoming elections, improving previous turnouts,” added Tunks.

Laura Jacobs agrees and also notes that last year’s inaugural marches throughout the nation left a lasting impression.

“In 2017, women listened to each other as never before and the turnout for the Women's March amazed us all. In 2018, the need to support each other's voices has only grown. Here in our little mountain town there are plenty of people who feel this way and who will be peacefully marching in Bakersfield. Our brothers and fathers and sweethearts are joining us, in many cases,” said Jacobs, of Tehachapi.

“As a local activist and organizer I want to stress that there will be a sizeable Tehachapi group of wonderful women there, so come out and march with us,” she said.

A bus from Tehachapi to Bakersfield is being planned to help local residents get to the march. Participants will be gathering in the back parking lot of Kmart, 710 W. Tehachapi Blvd., at 8:30 a.m. for an 8:45 a.m. departure. The event begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Bakersfield with the march starting around noon. The bus will return after the rally and events end at 3 p.m. and should arrive back in Tehachapi around 4 p.m. It is free to ride the bus.

Women’s March Kern County, along with sister marches, kicks off a year-long “Hear Our Vote!” campaign with events and rallies across the state.

In addition to the morning march, the Kern County event will feature a rally at the park with inspiring speakers, vendors, entertainment and activities throughout the afternoon.

Women’s March events across California strive to bring attention to the urgent need to prepare for the November 2018 elections, amplify the work being done by partner community organizations to turn out the vote and, focus on important voting initiatives for the future.

The public is invited to join this family-friendly, non-partisan event in Bakersfield and help represent Kern County as part of all Californians coming together in support of women.

Kimberly Kirchmer, co-executive director of Women’s March Kern County, is hoping for a large turnout that includes residents from throughout Kern County.

“Our goal is to include as many women — from all backgrounds — and their supporters in Women’s March Kern County so that we can raise our voices together to end violence, fight for the equal rights of women and advocate that all people be treated with dignity and respect. We hope Tehachapi residents will join us for this momentous occasion,” said Kirchmer.

For additional information about carpooling or to secure a seat on the bus from Tehachapi to the Women's March in Bakersfield, check the Tehachapi Action Network Facebook page or call (678) 770-4792.

Tracy Lopez is a local volunteer for the march.