On January 21, I will march in Washington DC alongside a robust contingent of South Pasadena residents as a reminder that we are all imperiled when a president: denies that climate change is real and manmade, refuses to completely divest from personal businesses, tweets disparaging remarks about people who have the right to speak freely, ignores intelligence briefings, denigrates intelligence agencies, pushes through cabinet confirmations without the requisite background and ethics evaluations and characterizes news organizations critical of him as “fake”.
Over two hundred thousand people plan to attend the march in Washington. Similar marches will take place in three hundred cities throughout our country, including Pasadena and Los Angeles. Women and men of all ages, races, religions and sexual orientation will stand together to remind our nation, our new president and the world that we are watching, that we are active participants in our Democracy and that we are united in our goal to make sure that all people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, religion (or no religion), race, economic status, immigration status or educational level, have the right to live their lives freely and with dignity.
The chorus supporting the above beliefs grows stronger every day. State Superintendent of Public Education, Tom Torlakson, sent a letter on December 21, 2016 “encouraging all California public schools to be declared ‘safe havens’ for students and their parents and to remind families about existing laws that protect students’ records from questions about immigration status” and stating that “unfortunately, since the presidential election, reports of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of K-12 students based on immigration status, religious, or ethnic identification are on the rise.”
Also, the South Pasadena City Council recently passed Resolution 7491 affirming the City’s commitment to diversity and to protecting the civil rights, safety and dignity of all of our residents. It is to our city’s credit that it is ahead of the curve when it comes to speaking out against bigotry. It is also to our city’s credit that our residents voted overwhelmingly for Hilary Clinton and against the candidate who ran a presidential campaign that included: mocking the disabled, threatening mass raids and deportations, threatening to block Muslims from entering the country, building a massive wall on our southern border (and making Mexico pay for it), declaring that we have to broaden our laws to allow torture, declaring that family members of terrorists should be murdered, stating that women who have abortions should be punished, repealing the Affordable Care Act without having a viable plan to meet the healthcare needs of our nation, encouraging violence at his rallies and saying that he preferred the days when protesters were carried out on stretchers.
I will march proudly and I will wear my pink, kitty cat themed hat as a nod to Trump’s boasting that he can grab women by their genitals and do anything he wants because he is a “star.” The hats are also a reminder that when funding for Planned Parenthood and basic civil rights are on the chopping block and when white supremacists feel emboldened by the newly minted President’s rhetoric, people do indeed grab back – and they grab back, “bigly.” For a listing of where you can march, please go to: http://time.com/4623995/donald-trump-inauguration-protests/