Op/Ed: The Women’s March in Washington

More than 200 people from the Kennett Square area rode buses, organized by the Kennett Area Democrats, to the Women's March in Washington, DC, on Saturday, Jan. 21. They joined hundreds of thousands of people who had traveled far and wide, as well as millions more who were participating in similar marches all across the country and around the world, in a demonstration of unity and hope.

The following morning, Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s close advisor and counselor, said that she “did not get the point.” Well, here’s the point: Millions of us in the United States and around the world are frightened. We fear for our country, our neighbors, ourselves and our future. Here are just a few of our concerns:

  • The void in our health care system that a repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act will create for millions of people.
  • The overzealous attack on Planned Parenthood, an organization that does so much good for so many women and their families.
  • The rise in climate change denial at a time when the scientific evidence is becoming more and more clear.
  • The degrading, demeaning and bullying that has taken hold in our country toward women, immigrants and people of color.
  • The embrace of Vladimir Putin, the saber rattling with China and the war of words with our NATO allies.

The list could go on. None of these fears bode well for the next four years. Those of us who marched in Washington were sending a message in a peaceful, elegant, beautiful—and most importantly—democratic way as we exercised our First Amendment rights of freedom of assembly and speech.

This was not a bitter or hateful gathering. The positive energy was palpable, the mutual respect throughout the huge crowd was uplifting and everyone’s determination to move forward, together, as one nation, was clear. Our message:

  • Don’t take us for granted.
  • All rights are human rights, irrespective of race, gender or nationality.
  • Everyone matters.
  • Hate destroys.
  • And, as one marcher’s sign said, “Sorry world, we’ll fix this.”

Now comes the important part, not just for Democrats but for all Americans who share our concerns, love our country and want a better future for our children and grandchildren. Democracy works best when a nation’s citizens are engaged. We encourage everyone to get involved. We must stay active. We must be vigilant, vocal and visible.

The march was a beginning not an end. Social media is buzzing with tips for contacting your representatives and senators. Go to http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/UTTD-115.pdf for a complete list of phone numbers. Go to www.VoteSpotter.com to track their voting records.

Become a “Rapid Responder.” Make phone calls, write letters and generally make sure your Senators, Congressman and State Legislators know you are watching, you care and you vote.

At an even higher level of commitment, you might also consider running for local office. The Kennett Area Democrats will provide training and support as needed. Contact us on Facebook, go to www.kennettareademocrats.com or email us at info@kennettareademocrats.com to learn more.

As the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy so eloquently said many years ago, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.”

Sally Braffman, Kennett Square Borough
Wayne Braffman, Kennett Square Borough
Bruce Koepcke, East Marlborough Township
Carol Catanese, Pennsbury Township
Victoria Wiedwald, Kennett Township

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