Women’s Marches Nationwide Set Sights On Ballot Box While Praising #MeToo

The march in Portland, Ore., broke into several splinter groups, with many surrounded by police in riot gear. "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!" demonstrators shouted.

In Atlanta, thousands of activists gathered at a squat, brightly painted warehouse in a poor but gentrifying neighborhood southwest of downtown as organizers set up booths on voting, women's healthcare and civil rights.

Rather than march again, organizers of Power to the Polls planned the event to inspire more progressive candidates to run for office, register voters and educate activists on how they can effectively mobilize people to vote.

The point is to go beyond another feel-good moment, said Janel Green, one of the organizers of the Atlanta Women's March last year. "We've already mobilized," she said. "It's time now to translate that momentum into impacting elections. We've got to develop strategies to mobilize and inform voters."

All across the country, organizers said electoral politics are increasingly taking precedence over street activism. There are 390 potential female candidates for the U.S. House, almost double the 202 women running at this time in 2016, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Another 49 female candidates are probably running for the Senate, compared with 21 two years ago. The majority of these female candidates are Democrats.

Some organizers said they see the marches as galvanized by concern about a broad range of issues that disproportionately affect women. In New York, Xochitl Oseguera, the campaign director of the advocacy group Moms Rising, cited hot-button topics such as immigration, gender-based pay gaps and health care.

"Before the Women's March, we just didn't have the support of other women in such an open and loud way," she said. "Now we can share our stories and be heard a lot more than before." ___ (King of the Tribune Washington Bureau reported from Washington, Castillo of the Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles and Agrawal of The Times from New York. Times staff writers Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Dallas, Colleen Shalby in Park City, Utah, Michael Livingston and Christine Mai-Duc in Los Angeles, along with special correspondents Jenny Jarvie in Atlanta and Thacher Schmid in Portland, contributed to this report.)

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