8:22 PM on Jan 19, 2020
Thousands of people marched Sunday through downtown Dallas, celebrating a century of women’s political power to bring change and calling for more — more political power and more change.
The city’s Women’s March, one of many this weekend across the nation, honored the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment as it rallied people to prepare for Election Day.
With primaries and caucuses for the presidential race beginning next month, the constitutional guarantee of women’s right to vote was especially meaningful for the event’s participants.
“No matter who you vote for, you need to have your say. You need to stand up,” said Connie Grube, a 70-year-old Ellis County resident.
She said she values the right to vote that her own grandmother couldn’t enjoy before the amendment was ratified.
“She grew up not voting, and it just awes me that I am able to,” Grube said. “And I am embarrassed and ashamed that there are too many of us who don’t.”
Marchers highlighted a variety of issues women can use their political might to influence, including reproductive rights and racial and gender equality.
But as they have since the first Women’s March in 2017, many focused their protests on President Donald Trump and his allies — some harshly and some humorously.
At a rally at City Hall after the march, best friends Erin Summerlin and Samantha Mitchell wore witch hats as they held a sign that said “Witch Hunt” — a phrase Trump has used often to characterize investigations into his conduct.
“I’m surprised that he hasn’t been impeached and removed,” Mitchell said “But you know what? We’re going to just focus on what we can do, which is vote. And we can make our voices heard. And we can show up and be present for everybody that needs someone to speak for them. So that’s why we’re here.”
She and Summerlin agreed that this year’s march was smaller than in previous years, but they said the gatherings have helped focus people’s attention.
“There were so many different people who were all coming together from different factions and different causes,” Mitchell said. “I think we’ve all found the causes that we can really put our hearts into.”
State Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers, D-Garland, challenged any notion that the march isn’t as energetic as before, saying the many women who have entered politics since the 2017 event prove its continuing influence.
“If you don’t get on board with us or don’t want to listen, you may need earplugs,” she told the crowd at City Hall. “You want to get some earplugs because we do not stop, and we won’t stop.”