BCK FILE-One year ago, the day following the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump, 750,000 people gathered in Pershing Square as part of a global Women’s March. For many of us who participated in the very first march alongside fellow members of the resistance across the country and even the world, this was one of the first steps to show our solidarity on behalf of not only women, but every group and issue marginalized by the Trump and Republican agenda.
One year later, we’re moving forward, and lots has transpired. The president just pronounced Haiti and countries in Africa as “shitholes,” maligning the media at every turn, and attempting to divert attention from and discredit the Mueller investigation but also Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury, which details a disorganized power grab with no chain of command.
2018 isn’t about bringing down Trump. It’s about channeling this energy into Flip the House, encourage women to run, and to make a difference.
This is the year of women -- and of all of us who are working for change. We’re raising our voices to say no more to sexual harassment and violence. We’re empowered. #TimesUp.
A total of 468 seats in the U.S. Congress (33 Senate and all 435 House seats) are up for election in 2018 and over 30 Republicans are retiring; some have decided to not even wait till the end of their terms, including Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Tim Murphy (R-PA), and Trent Franks (R-AZ). Of those retiring in 2019, a few of them chair committees so there will be a shift in power that the Dems are aiming to overturn.
As of this month, the largest number of women in history are running for House seats in just about every state, including Special Elections in both Arizona and Ohio. See the list compiled by Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics CAWP Center for American Women and Politics here.
The Los Angeles March event is planned to start at 8:30 a.m. next Saturday, January 20, in Pershing Square. The actual march will start at 10 a.m. and is expected to be streamed on Facebook Live. Don’t forget to pre-register via EventBrite to give organizers a general idea for attendance logistics.
Organizers released the names of some of the participants who will participate this year, including Scarlett Johansson, Alfre Woodard, Laverne Cox, and Olivia Munn. The lineup of scheduled speakers for rallies before and following the March include Chloe Bennet, Rowan Blanchard, Yvette Nicole Brown, Sophia Bush, Lea DeLaria, Tony Goldwyn, Paris Jackson, Megan Mullally, Nicole Richie, Catt Sadler, Adam Scott, Olivia Wilde and Larry Wilmore, as well as local politicians, civic leaders, musicians Idina Menzel, Andra Day, Rachel Platten, Maxwell, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles with Melissa Etheridge.
Teaching Artist/Activist Amy Phillips of Beverly Hills who is involved in Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, says she was home sick with the flu last year but watched coverage from all over the world and plans to join the March this year.
“We’ve had a year of daily breaking news that oftentimes borders on the insane. We’ve seen the damage 45 and his henchmen are capable of. It’s even more critical now that we activate. The theme of this March is Power To The Polls and I am thrilled that so many people are looking toward those midterm elections. Once Dems get control back, it will be a whole new ballgame.”
Phillips adds, “What am I NOT concerned with?? I’m concerned about gun legislation, healthcare, abortion rights, climate change, nuclear war. And the total disregard 45 and the Republicans have for the majority of the American people. I just wish I could be doing it with my daughter. We have to do everything within legal limits to make our voices heard. We have no time for complacency now.”
Amy says of the Trump administration and the GOP, “It scares me. Yet, I am hopeful based on the results of the recent elections. 45 promised to bring us together. And he did actually. He brought about this incredible movement of resistance and activism. So in a way, we should thank him!”
We want to hear from you. If you’re marching, why? What are your greatest concerns with this the House Administration and the GOP in the House? What do you think we can do to change the tide?
(Beth Cone Kramer is a Los Angeles writer and a CityWatch columnist.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.