SANTA MARIA-Calif. - Reopen California Rallies were held today in Santa Maria and Lompoc. Groups of demonstrators gathered to protest the shelter at home orders due to COVID-19.
Groups of people lined the streets yelling and cheering, “Whoo! Open California!”
After weeks of business closures and shelter at home orders, local residents have had enough.
“It's time that we all stand up and ask for accountability, business owners are eager to get back and reopen their doors,” said business leader and advocate Farmers Insurance agent Jaime Flores.
The demonstrators lined up along Betteravia and Bradley Roads in Santa Maria holding American Flags.
“The community is ready to get back and start shopping and do the things that we do best around here which is take care of each other,” said Flores.
Protestors in Lompoc held up signs at another Reopen California rally demanding to be allowed back to work.
“It's unconstitutional, all the mandates that have been put on the people,” said one demonstrator.
Doug Dougherty owns 5ive Productions and the nonprofit Oasis Center, an advocacy group for senior citizens.
“The whole purpose of us being around is to make sure that seniors are not being isolated and neglected. And now our actions have forced them into isolation,” said Dougherty.
Dougherty attended the rally and says the decision to reopen should include the business owners discernment.
“At some point, as a business owner you have to make your own decisions,” said Dougherty.
Jaime Flores is a community business advocate and went to the rally in support of reopening but also to help guide other business owners to utilize available resources to help them survive.
“We want to make sure we have all the right information, and services to provide to our local business community so they can reopen in a proper manner,” said Flores.