Charlotte Women Travel To D.C. To March On Washington
Friday is inauguration day, and right now, people are getting ready to travel to the nation’s capital. We’re not talking about the swearing in of Donald Trump, but the Women's March on Washington which takes place the day after the inauguration. Women from all over the country are flocking to D.C. for the march, which organizers say is not anti-Trump but rather pro-women.
WFAE’s Sarah Delia spoke to several groups of Charlotte women about why they are making the journey up to march and has this story.
Jennifer De La Jara and Gail Chauncey have been friends for 16 years. And over the course of their friendship they’ve traveled together on various trips.
But when they drive up to Washington, D.C. to participate in the women’s march on Washington, it will be a different type of trip.
"You look back and there have been other events in history that have been groundbreaking that people remember and if I could be a part of that and it’s just a six hour drive and I have access to get there…you know, to be in solidarity and have a renewed spirit," De La Jara said.
It’s difficult to get an exact count on how many people will be marching on Saturday, but over 200,000 people have RSVPd yes on the official march page.
Organizers call this a pro-women march, not an anti-Trump protest. But Gail says this year’s election did have something to do with why she is marching. She’s looking forward to gathering with other like-minded women who found Trump’s language to be divisive during his campaign.
"Honestly speaking, it is a way out of deep depression. I look at it as a gift, something to look forward to. The election really took me down. I believe that we all have to accept the fact that we probably wouldn't be marching, at least in the masses that we are, if Donald Trump hadn’t won," said Chauncey.
Both women are also concerned about funding for Planned Parenthood and how to better organize locally in Charlotte. They’re hoping to bring ideas back to Charlotte after the rally.
For Sally Young, who’s retired from the Charlotte Fire Department, she’s excited to march, but more so with who's marching with her. Her daughter Beth lives just outside of D.C. Along with providing a crash pad, Beth says she’ll also be her mom’s rally buddy.
"I think there of families that aren’t in the same situation that I’m in, that mother and daughter agree on that this is what we need to do from a moral obligation and to really be heard. I think it’s exciting that we share the same sentiment about it and I think it’s an exciting opportunity to go and be a part of something really influential," said Beth Sorber.
Young says politics weren’t big topics at the dinner table growing up, she didn’t think she'd ever be participating in political activism with her kids.
"I don’t know that we had a lot of political discussions as she was growing up. But her and her sister tended after me which is amazing because most of the family tends to be on the other side. So I’m grateful that they thought it through like I did and that we have the opportunity to go and show that we care," said Young.
Beth says she’s marching in support of LGBT rights. Sally says she’s marching for health care issues.
Jan Anderson, is a retired civil engineer in Charlotte. She says when she heard about the march she wanted to bring as many people as possible. So she rented a bus that will be driving 45 people to the rally. It was completely filled within a month.
Jan is 67-years-old. And her reason for marching this weekend is to remind people how far women have come in the work place.
"I go back far enough where when I was entering the work force I had a degree from Duke, Carolina, and NC State. There were no women engineers when I was looking for a job, I was looked at crazy. I couldn’t get a credit card. I couldn’t get a mortgage. You think about all that women have accomplished over the years, we don’t want to go back to those days when we were dependents and not independent women. So that’s what I’m going for," said Anderson.
And she also sees the bus ride up as the ultimate road trip.
Plus, she’ll bring poster board for those who want to make signs on the way there. Like the variety and number of women on the bus headed up to Washington, she expects a range of issues represented on those signs.