About 250 people gathered at the entrance of the Arlington Memorial Bridge on Saturday to join the second Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee organized with grassroots organizations for the second year to gather locals to march across Memorial Bridge to a rally at the Lincoln Memorial. There, speakers talked of the importance of the rights of women, people with disabilities, immigrants and people of color.
Jill Caiazzo, the new Arlington Democrats chair after succeeding Kip Malinosky, said the point of this year’s march was to not only highlight women’s position in society, but to also encourage people to vote. The march’s theme this year was “Power to the Polls.”
“I think it’s important just as a general matter all year long that we remind people of the very critical midterm election and the fact that we all need to do our part so that everyone knows about it, everybody’s registered to vote and everybody is able to vote and does vote on election day who is eligible,” Caiazzo said.
Some of the speakers at the three-hour rally included Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Virginia Del. Kelly Fowler (D-21), U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
The speakers called for the need to elect more women and criticized the Republicans in Congress over the government shutdown that same weekend.
This year Arlington Democrats will be doing its part to march to the polls through its three new voter outreach coordinators, who will be setting up activities with marginalized groups in the community who do not necessarily interact with politicians on a regular basis.
“I think you will be seeing more events focused on just being in the community and voter education as opposed to just focusing on knocking on doors and get the vote out,” Caiazzo said. “That’s going to be very important but we also want to emphasize too that we are in the community as a positive force.”
Wendy Reed, a resident of the Madison Manor neighborhood, came to protest because of her concerns over immigration, environmental protection and the treatment of women.
“I feel like we’re upside down,” Reed said. “I feel like all the things I care about are being hacked away.”
Another protester, Lynn Borton of Courthouse, said she returned to the Women’s March because it felt good to be a part of something that’s unifying in a time when society has felt more divisive. Borton also said she is thinking of her great, great grandmother, who never had the right to vote.
Several parents brought their daughters to march with them as well, including Eric Sword, who brought his two daughters, Lyra and Cat. They also went to the march last year.
Lyra Sword said she came back to the march “because it was fun last year and it felt good to be surrounded by people who believe the same thing.”
Eric Sword added that President Donald Trump’s administration hits home because his family is close with someone that is transgender. It was reported recently that the Trump administration plans to protect health workers who deny treating transgender people or handling abortions on religious grounds.
Kay Bailey also brought her two daughters Elisa and Amanda Boiani to make sure they see that women don’t have to endure the treatment of Trump’s policies against them and minorities.
“I want to teach my daughters that everyone is equal and everyone is worthy of human rights and we can’t behave like this and expect the rest of the world to uphold human rights,” Bailey said.