By ASHLEY MUÑOZ
I was lucky enough to be a part of Tucson’s Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.
People marched for women’s rights on the first full day of President Donald Trump’s term. On a cold and rainy day, not common for Tucson, our community came together to protest the new administration and to push for gender equality.
More than a million people worldwide marched in solidarity. Locally, about 15,000 people showed up at Armory Park.
As a participant, I was beyond inspired by the love and positivity coming from men and women. Many people believe there’s nothing we can do now that Trump is president, but that’s not true. This march was filled with hope, a bit of sadness and a reality check we all needed.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva were two of the many speakers.
I asked Rothschild what the walk meant to him.
“The American people are standing up in great masses all over the country and here in Tucson, and they’re saying we will be listened to,” he said. “We are willing to work with you, but if you aren’t willing to work with us then change will have to be made.”
The hate rhetoric of the past year is not part of American tradition, Rothschild added.
“I think it’s motivating people, activating people, and maybe that’s what we needed,” he said. “There are those times when people become complacent and as you can see, these will not be complacent times.”
Grijalva said people who can’t vote, whether they’re too young or don’t have documentation, still have crucial roles to play.
“For the young, the protection of schools and their opportunities to go further on are going to be big issues,” he said. “They need to protect that and make sure that we don’t see, with this administration, the destruction of public education like community colleges.”
He stressed the importance of undocumented residents, including blended families and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival students.
“They live next door to us, their kids go to school with us,” he said. “They’re a part of this community and they should know that and act that way.”
Grijalva pledged to do everything he can to shield DACA students.
“We will continue to fight for and protect those kids,” he said. “We’ll try and make sure that it isn’t a crazy regime of deportation by this president.”
I remain inspired by the Women’s March.
We are an America coming together for gender equality. We’re not here to destroy the nation, we’re here to build and rebuild.
The people, not a celebrity, have the power to make America great again.