On April 6, I attended a Woman’s March sponsored event called Power to the Polls. It took place in Cleveland and focused on the importance of getting people out to vote. This event was the first of a tour of 10 states. Ohio is always the key swing state in presidential elections. The speakers pointed out that no one wins the presidency without getting major support in north east Ohio.
The speakers were inspiring. Woman’s March co-founder Bob Bland started it off and then introduced Linda Sarsour.
She spoke about the need for progressive people not to destroy their own allies for having differences in ideology.
“Unity is not uniformity.”
The goals that she laid out for the Woman’s March’s activism this year:
- Don’t assume that you are registered due to changes in laws. Check.
- Take responsibility for the people in your life. Make sure they are registered and going to vote.
- Get to know people. How can we protect people if we don’t know people?
- Stay informed
- Support organizations doing the work in your community
- Don’t worry about what people think. Say you are proud to be a radical.
The next speaker was Nina Turner. From Wikipedia:
“Nina Turner is an American politician from the State of Ohio. Turner, a Democrat, served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 2008 to 2014, and was elected to be the chamber’s Minority Whip in the 129th General Assembly. A supporter of the progressive movement, Turner has been characterized as a rising star in the Democratic Party. She endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and became an active surrogate for him.”
She talked about being called an Angry Black Woman. She pointed out many instances of injustice that should make people angry. “If we aren’t mad, something is wrong with us.”
But then she cautioned people. “It is ok to be angry but we have to channel that anger into action.”
After the speakers the group broke out into one of four small group sessions. I went to the Get Out the Vote session. There were women from several grass roots political groups there. Some were candidates for local elections. I met a person who works with a political action group near me. I hope to be able to work with some of their projects.
I wish there had been a larger turnout. The church where we met is on a college campus but there were very few college students there. That shows how we need to be better at getting the word out about opportunities.