Wednesday marked International Workers' Day, and to celebrate, hundreds of San Diegans across the county marched in support of a living wage.
A two-hour march spanning the downtown area began at 3:30 p.m. and saw teachers, nurses, construction workers, and more call on businesses to create more jobs that pay workers enough to support their families.
"We are standing up for our students, and we're standing up for public education, which in my mind means were standing up for democracy itself, which is all part and parcel why May Day is important," said San Diego City College professor Kelly Mayhew.
The march started at Comerica Bank on B Street and headed to the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building on Front Street. Here, the march moved to Ralphs on G Street and then on to Sempra Energy on Eighth Avenue before making a final stretch into Chicano Park.
During the stop at Sempra Energy, a rally was held at 5 p.m., where a flatbed truck served as stage on the blocked-off road. Here, hundreds eagerly and peacefully voiced their need for more jobs and higher wages.
And at the finish line in Chicano Park, local leaders also spoke, including Doug Moore with United Domestic Workers of America, Christy Williams with Classified School Employees, and Judy de los Santos with Unión del Barrio.
Wednesday’s activities were organized by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, which represents more than 130 labor groups and 200,000 local working families.
According to the labor council, the amount of U.S. workers involved in a strike on International Workers' Day in 2018 was the highest number since 1986. And in 2019, the group expected a similar turnout.
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council attributed the rise in participation after “policies protecting against racial, sexual, and gender discrimination have been threatened, undermined, and even eradicated.”
Mayhew believed participation also increased because of recent tax cuts.
"We've had these tax cuts that largely benefited the wealthy at the expense of everyone else," Mayhew said. "What I mean is that those taxes pay for our public schools, they pay for our roads, they pay for the quality of life for the rest of us."
Some children were spotted marching alongside their parents in support.
In total, the march covered roughly two miles.