By Lisa M. Krieger
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) March organizers say there’s an intersection of inspirations this year: The #MeToo movement shared women’s stories of sexual harassment and assault, while the broader #TimesUp message seeks to raise awareness of issues ranging from sexual misconduct to gender and racial inequality in leadership positions.
Energized by two new social movements — #MeToo and #TimesUp — tens of thousands of women will march in the Bay Area and cities throughout the U.S. later this month as part of a sweeping campaign to propel more women and their allies into elected office and other leadership positions.
Expect a sea of pink hats, as seen in last year’s vast, angry and spontaneous rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. But the main march this year on Jan. 21 is being held in Las Vegas, not Washington, D.C., a deliberate shift of gravity toward Western states such as California, Nevada and Arizona that will figure prominently in the 2018 mid-term elections. Most of the Bay Area marches are on Jan. 20.
The goal of the upcoming marches is more pragmatic than last year, with organizers openly advocating strategies to elect Democrats.
The organizers say they not only plan to express righteous outrage against individuals accused of sexual assault and harassment — from Trump himself to Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein — but also hope to channel that anger into a more unified and sustainable political movement aimed at combating the abuse of power and promoting workplace equality.
“People are ready to take action,” said San Jose activist Chandra Brooks, who is helping to organize San Jose’s women’s march. “Last year, people were just getting interested in getting involved in the community and figuring out what to do.”
The slogan, “First we marched, now we run,” alludes to the new focus on voter registration, voter mobilization and getting more women to throw their hats into the ring. Marches will be held in 18 California cities, including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Santa Cruz and Walnut Creek.