Amid beeping horns and cheers from passersby, several hundred Sonoma Valley residents rallied on Wednesday evening, Sept. 6, on Napa Street at the Plaza horseshoe to protest the Trump administration’s plans to end former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Carrying signs and banners, the crowd gathered in support of Sonoma Valley’s undocumented children and young adults.

Jennifer Palladini teaches at Santa Rosa Junior College and lives in Sonoma Valley. Following Monday’s announcement of DACA’s demise, she and a few other organizers set up a Facebook page called Sonoma Rally to Support DACA and Dreamers. The resulting rally was officially co-hosted by such groups as Sonoma Valley Resistance, Sonoma Valley Democrats, Organizing for Action and United We Dream.

Despite the quick turnaround, organizers were pleased by the turnout.

While they were not themselves in attendance, government officials asked local representatives to read statements for them. Rebecca Hermosillo spoke on behalf of Rep. Mike Thompson; Amy Harrington spoke on behalf of the Sonoma City Council; Cal Weeks spoke on behalf of Assemblymember Marc Levine; and staff representing Assemblymember Ceclia Aguiar-Curry and state Sen. Bill Dodd were in attendance.

Local reps from Sonoma County’s Human Rights Commission and an immigrant right lawyers for La Luz spoke, as well as activist Mario Castillo.

Dozens of attendees sported “We Are All Immigrants” T-shirts.

While organized quickly, many protesters arrived with signs ready: “I support Dreamers,” “Stand up for DACA,” and “Dreamers Make America Great” as well as several with pointed jabs at President Trump and his decision to end the program.

A few dozen people had arrived by 5:30 p.m. and by 6 p.m. attendees estimated a crowd of 300 protesters.

“This is a great community of people who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get work done,” said Palladini. “It’s inspiring.”