The Women’s March in Washington following President Donald Trump’s inauguration empowered dozens in Middle Georgia to carry on the momentum of the woman’s movement at home.
The organized march that drew an estimated half million to the capitol proclaimed on its website that “women, half the population, intend to be full participants, not merely spectators, in the American Democratic process.”
Eight days after the Jan. 21 march, 45 midstate women, most not knowing each other, met at a private home.
What brought them together was a private Facebook page, which had a stated purpose “to raise a common voice about issues important to women and our country.”
In a news release Wednesday, the Georgia Women and All Those Who Support Us group announced itself. Those interested in joining to create “a vehicle where people can be participants, not merely spectators, to the Democratic process,” may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Women, like our country, are diverse in terms of color, sexual orientation, profession, and how we journey with God. But we know how to work together in order to get things done,” the release said. “Our intentions are ... to bring an informed element to our conversations as we address critical issues that affect our country, our state and our families. We expect our congressional and state representatives to ‘Hear Our Voice,’ respond appropriately, and take action where warranted.”
Health care and education are of immediate concern to the group.
The website for the Women’s March on Washington calls for participants to take “10 actions for the first 100 days.” The first is to mail a postcard to your senators, but the local group is doing more than that.
On Friday, a caravan of folks are headed down to Warner Robins to visit the office of U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., “to talk about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act,” said group member Lynn Snyder, a retired U.S. Army nurse who moved to Macon five years ago.
“I’m a senior. It affects me. It affects my sister. It affects many of my friends,” she said. “I have done a lot of research and have a lot of people, friends, family members, neighbors, who will be very adversely affected by the repeal, particularly because there’s no replacement and no replacement in sight and there’s no guarantee of a replacement.”
Snyder’s idea to visit Scott’s office came about during the private gathering Saturday, which was at a house belonging to a woman she’d never met before.
“My big thing is, if you have something that’s broken, you just don’t throw it away, you try to fix it because that’s the cheapest method. And I don’t see anybody trying to fix it.”
Those interested in participating may email the group for details.
Snyder said she participated in the woman’s march in Atlanta, which took place in unison with the Washington march.
“I felt like I needed to do something because I really love my country and I don’t want to see it go down a bad path,” Snyder said. “I’ve called both senators offices, but I think sometimes they need to put a face to a name and actually hear our stories.”
Scott won’t be in the office Friday, but Snyder said she thinks his aides are “quite nice people and they probably have some similar stories too.”
Brenda Sutton, a local mediator and radio talk-show host, also is a group member. Sutton said the group “is about the issues. It’s about education. It’s about climate change, it’s about health care.”
“You know, woman’s issues are everyone’s issues. They’re not separate and apart,” Sutton said. “We want to be able to participate in democracy. ... The current climate, the current temperature, is not one of empathy. We just believe that we need to have a voice and we need to be able to sit at the table.”