Last Saturday, along with more than 500,000 people in DC and an estimated 5 million worldwide, I participated in the Women’s March on Washington.
I marched because since November 9, I’ve been feeling some degree of anger, sadness, fear, uncertainty, anxiety and terror. I’ve felt powerless.
I marched because my two young daughters are watching.
I marched because even my four-year-old knows that “the mean man who calls people names shouldn’t win.” Because we have come too far over the last 8 years to watch this new President – who empowers bigotry, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, white supremacists, and anti-Semites and who denigrates women, Muslims, immigrants, people with disabilities, the media, and anyone else who gets under his incredibly thin skin – undo decades of hard fought progress.
I marched because I want my two little girls to know that their parents didn’t just sit idly by and watch as vulnerable communities were targeted. I marched because I want my daughters to learn that when we see injustice anywhere, it’s a threat to justice everywhere and that it’s our obligation to speak out. We must stand up and be counted.
With millions of people participating in events around the world, the Women’s March has become a movement – one that is already bringing together a broad cross-section of communities to make real and lasting change. But to accomplish our goals, we must continue to harness this energy and carry forward what we started last weekend.
I came away from last Saturday feeling empowered. The positivity, optimism and unity of the day left me with a sense of hopefulness about the future that I hadn’t felt since November 8.
So what comes next?
Going forward, Family Equality Council commits to sharing with you concrete and tangible actions that you and your family can take to help preserve our hard-fought progress. We will be asking you to contact your elected officials, make phone calls, write letters, talk to your friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers. We will be asking you to tell your stories – to be out and proud in your communities.
I know we have already asked you to do this once before – but we are asking you to call again. Critical new information has come to light since Senator Session’s first Committee hearing. During his first week in office, President Trump has issued numerous Executive Orders that directly threaten civil rights and liberties. It has been reported that Senator Sessions has been advising the President on a number of these matters, which may put him at odds with the very federal laws he will be required to enforce as Attorney General. Legislators need to hear from you that this is not okay!
We know that the calls are working! We are hearing from Senate office staffers who tell us their phone lines are flooded and their voice mail boxes are full. Senator Sessions’ Committee vote has been postponed, which is a direct result of YOUR calls. This is exactly what we want – but we need to keep the pressure up!
The work doesn’t end because the March is over. On the contrary – the March is just the beginning. The real work starts now. Let’s turn this march into a movement and together we can raise our voices and make some history! Remember …our children are watching.