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California Event Industry Workers Protest The Government's Lack of Guidance

Without a plan to re-open, many event workers fear for their jobs
Kristin Snyder

Wedding dresses are usually reserved for walking down the aisle. But on October 13, they became a symbol of protest. California Association for Private Events (CAPE) prompted those working in the event industry across the state to Walk for Weddings” as they marched from the Sterling Hotel to the North Steps of the California State Capital. Having formed to represent the 3 million industry jobs within the state, CAPE is calling on Governor Newsom to work with them to establish a safe way for weddings and events to proceed during the pandemic. March 2020 saw the wedding industry shut down due to the pandemic – but unlike other states, California lacks guidance on how private events can begin to move forward. As California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy does not currently recognize the event industry, thousands of businesses and jobs are at stake. Over 100 workers wanted to make their voices heard, and dressed to the nines in their wedding best as they chanted “save wedding now” down the Sacramento streets. Representing the 12 counties attending the protest, CAPE president Amy Ulkutekin called on Newsom to help their industry, and said “we are here to fight for our livelihood.” Board director at large Bill Zaruka highlighted the need to encourage people to follow a safe, COVID-friendly plan for their events instead of simply forgoing any guidelines. “They’ve taken a stance of prohibition,” he said. “And we all know prohibition doesn’t work. Prohibition creates underground. 

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