Almost a year to date after the 2017 Women’s March, Central Ohio women are taking to the street once again. On Saturday, as part of a national day of protest, a “Power to the Polls” march will begin at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and end at the Statehouse.
Rhiannon Childs, executive director of Women’s March Ohio, says 2017 was a banner year for protest, not only for women but for people of color as well.
“They were always involved in social justice work, it’s just now their voices are being recognized and uplifted,” Childs says.
Part of that surge came from President Trump’s first year in office, which Childs characterizes as “horrible for women” and says catalyzed a movement.
“There’s been so many new organizers this last year,” she says. “They have found their strength, they have found their voices. President Trump has basically given them the courage to stand up and fight against his misogyny.”
That impact, Childs says, can be felt acutely in the Columbus area.
“We’ve come together in Central Ohio,” Childs says. “And I’m hoping that this past year with our activism and our rallies and our phone banking to legislators and office visits, I’m hoping that will empower us in 2018 to vote for more progressive candidates and vote women in office.”
Indeed, voting is the center of the march this weekend, and at some 300 sister events in cities and towns across the country. Speakers at the event are scheduled to share thoughts on gerrymandering, voting rights, and getting out the vote in the 2018 midterms.
“Our top priority is empowering women, so they can understand that we have a voice, and we can get people in office that will advocate for us, the things that are important to us,” Childs says.
As part of a look back on the anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, WOSU also interviewed a Trump supporter about his views on the presidency.