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A year ago, the streets were jammed as women and progressive allies flooded Washington, D.C. to protest the Trump administration and their political agenda. This weekend, on the anniversary of the historic Women’s March on Washington, a group from Virginia will return to the district to once again encourage participation in the political process.
“The idea is to launch a year-long strategy, in which we will eventually, for the midterms in 2018, march people to the polls to vote,” says Vanessa Wruble, executive director of March On. “We want to take the spirit of the Women’s March, the celebratory feeling of it, and point it at something that will push the needle politically.”
Various chapters of the Women’s March will host events to rally people around progressive priorities. Locally, March Forward Virginia will rally at the Lincoln Memorial before marching to the White House as a sign of rejection of the agenda being pushed at both the federal and state levels.
Emily Patton, press chair and co-organizer of the 2018 Women’s March on Washington, says the primary objective of this year’s rally is to encourage women — especially those from diverse and intersectional communities — to run for office, as well as to increase voter registration and engagement so people are able to vote in the 2018 midterms and future elections.
The rally will feature speakers from women’s groups, progressive organizations, filmmakers, and politicians like U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and Virginia Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach), who was inspired to run for office after last year’s march.
“What the Women’s March did was help amplify the messages that community groups were already focusing on,” says Patton. “Over the past year, Virginians have become incredibly engaged. Public pressure has been kept up. The first march was the rallying cry, and this step is to push forward civic engagement and restore and exercise our voting rights.”
The 2018 Women’s March on Washington, hosted by March Forward Virginia, takes place on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Marchers will meet at the reflecting pool alongside the Lincoln Memorial. For more information, visit MarchDC.com.
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