By Michael Walton The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Women's March website describes the march as a grassroots effort organized by dozens of local organizations and nonprofit groups. Its Facebook page shows nearly 195,000 people are planning to attend.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Maria Wood doubts she'll live long enough to see a woman ascend to the nation's highest office following Hillary Clinton's defeat by President-elect Donald Trump, a man whom she described as a "bigoted misogynist."
Wood, 74, fears every social issue she feels strongly about will fall victim to a four-year, Trump administration-led backlash, while an ideological shift on the U.S. Supreme Court during Trump's first term could negatively impact her daughter and granddaughter long after she's gone.
But even as the Highland Park resident worries about the future, she believes some good will come of Trump's victory. On Saturday, she, her husband and granddaughter will head to the nation's capital for the Women's March on Washington, one of several rallies and protests staged by Trump opponents during Inauguration Weekend.
It won't be the first time Wood, a self-proclaimed "true feminist," participates in a show of solidarity and support for women's rights, religious and racial minorities, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and other progressive causes. But it will be the first time she does so alongside her granddaughter, Maddy Wood, a 20-year-old West Virginia University junior who Wood said shares her beliefs.
"You have to become a resister, and you have to resist. You have to work toward something," she said.
Women's March on Washington -- one of the largest coordinated rallies that coincides with Trump's swearing-in ceremony -- will begin at 10 a.m. on the National Mall, not far from the Capitol. The event's website describes the march as a grassroots effort organized by dozens of local organizations and nonprofit groups. Its Facebook page shows nearly 195,000 people were planning to attend as of Sunday.
As of last week, 1,200 chartered buses had applied to D.C.'s city government for parking permission on Saturday, while only 200 buses sought parking for Inauguration Day, according to The Washington Post.
Westmoreland County should be well-represented among the marchers. County Democratic Party Chairwoman Lorraine Petrosky wrote in an email that roughly a dozen buses will transport county residents to D.C., including three departing Irwin at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and returning that evening. She estimated that 200 to 250 people from Westmoreland will be on board, although she cautioned the figure is not exact.
"There is enthusiasm and purpose," she wrote in the email. "A mix of men and women and a variety of causes represented." Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania -- which runs health care clinics in Greensburg, Johnstown, downtown Pittsburgh, Bridgeville, Moon and Somerset -- will send its own bus to D.C. for the march.
The group also will team up with One Pittsburgh and the American Association of University Women to hold local rallies during Inauguration Weekend.
A reproductive rights rally on Sunday will commemorate the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling, which on Jan. 22, 1973, affirmed the legal right to abortions, spokeswoman Jessica Semler said. That event is scheduled at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland.
Mia Gilroy, 20, a sophomore at Pitt-Greensburg, said she'd love to board a bus bound for D.C. if her schedule -- bloated with class work and extracurricular activities -- allowed.
The North Huntingdon native said she follows politics closely as an active participant in campus Democrats and a supporter of President Obama and his legacy.
Now she's worried about the future. As a woman, the child of mixed-race parents and a straight ally to many gay friends, Gilroy said she's troubled by Trump's often inflammatory rhetoric and Vice President-elect Mike Pence's views on social issues.
"I'm fearful," she said. "I'm a huge part of the gay-straight alliance, and I had friends call me absolutely sobbing the day after Trump was elected."