Lake Tahoe Women’s March: Bi-state peaceful walk to be held in support of women’s rights
"We, the women of the Lake Tahoe Basin, walk with our partners, families and friends in unity with our sisters across the United States, to ensure our rights, our safety, our health and our community. We recognize that in our vibrant and diverse communities lie our strength and the strength of our country. This march is a first step in uniting our community and moving forward toward a more hopeful future. We stand together to recommit to our Constitutional values recognizing that we defend all people in our community and country. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equality for all."
On Saturday, Jan. 21, thousands of citizens across America will march in support of women’s rights, including here on the South Shore.
Inspired by the Women’s March on Washington, the Lake Tahoe Women’s March will begin at 11 a.m. in the parking lot behind the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, continue along U.S. 50, and end at the Lakeview Commons.
“We wanted our focus to be more of a positive note — a celebration of our diversity. That’s where the strength lies within our community. We need to recognize that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights,” said march spokeswoman Norma Santiago.
“We need to recommit to those constitutional values that support justice and equality for all, and make sure elected officials are held accountable for the decisions they make.”
Santiago said the march, which will be held a day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, is not intended to be a protest of his presidency, but rather a commitment to “equality, fairness and justice.”
“While we all have our own feelings about what’s going to be happening over the next several years under a Trump presidency and our own individual concerns, this is not what it’s about,” expressed Santiago.
“It’s about how we can build a message that is more consistent with the values of this country instead of spending so much time on negative rhetoric. We are a diverse and strong community, and working together we can respectfully find solutions to some of the difficulties that we face in our economy, environment, social infrastructure, whatever it is.”
The march participants are expected to arrive at Lakeview Commons around noon, where a brief program will be held featuring two speeches — one by Peg Kortes on the history of women’s rights, and another by Annie Davidson on the future of women’s issues.
“This is a particularly important time for women,” said Davidson. “It’s time to embrace our role in democracy and as decision makers.”
“We need to support each other in doing that, and support our own needs so we can have a real voice — and that crosses all political spectra,” continued Davidson.
“It’s also time for our generation to look at the parties as they are now and decide how we envision them for the future. What are the important issues that need to be called out?”
Davidson said she is marching on Saturday because of the divisiveness of this past election cycle.
“We saw divisions in our country the likes of which my generation has not seen … it’s time to question if we are entitled to this great land of ours, or active participants in forming communities and the governments we rely on.”
Following the speeches, participants will then have the opportunity to write down pledges for future activism, which will then be complied and sent to members of Congress.
“We want to say these things about justice for all and equality, but it can’t just be words — we want to follow it up with activism that supports that and allows people to be engaged in supporting those values,” noted Santiago.
The event organizers — which consist of members of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Regional Young Professionals, SLT Solidarity Network, American Association of University Women, the Tahoe Democratic Club, Live Violence Free and the Tahoe Resource Center — are expecting a good turnout at the march, which will take place snow, rain or shine.
The first 200 participants will receive a knit cap with a specially designed logo thanks to the sponsorship of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe. Donations for the cap will be accepted.
For more information on the march, find Women’s March on Washington Lake Tahoe on Facebook.