#WhyIMarch: April’s Story

This is part of an on-going series of essays from Pennsylvania residents participating in the historic January 21, 2017 event in the Nation’s Capital.

15037315_10211345913229221_123563530240551537_n~April Weis, Titusville, PA

It has been over a month since the election and many people are still feeling various emotions – be it confusion, elation, or anger. In the days following the election I was in the latter category. In a sea of red, it’s not easy being blue. While I am still unhappy with the results, I have made a resolve, and that resolve is to affect as much change as I can and to put my feet to the ground – literally – with The Women’s March on Washington.

Advocacy and protest is not new to me. In fact, it’s consumed my life over the last year. I spent much of my time working with and on behalf of my union SEIU. I belong to local 1199p for healthcare workers and attended a safe staffing rally in May to help push a bill 13902834_10210454086094100_8034905569054797793_nfor staffing transparency in hospitals. In June, I rallied with members of SEIU and the teachers union for better funding for schools in the Erie area. In July I made the trek to Philly to attend some events connected to the Democratic Convention.

My friends and I infiltrated a Trump rally in Erie to protest. We brought tax forms with us, and at the right moment we stood up in the crowd, loudly and proudly yelled for Trump to show us his taxes!  The very next day I made the trip to Richmond, Virginia for the largest Fight for 15 rally to date, fighting for all workers to have a $15 an hour minimum wage and union representation. In September I attended the Moral Day of Action in Harrisburg to shine a spotlight on the inequality when it comes to education, healthcare

14291737_10210729243452862_6129599863241894124_n

Campaigning for Hillary Clinton

availability and fair wages. On top of all of this, nearly every weekend I was out knocking doors for Hillary, right up to and including Election Day. I love to be active and I strongly believe in all of these causes. They are my heart.

I have become involved with the Women’s March on Washington not just as a member but as a local coordinator. On January 21st 2017 I will be in Washington marching with thousands of other women, men and children from all over the world. We have people joining us from as far away as Norway. This grassroots movement that is barely a month old has inspired so many people to become active and be heard. Our mission is simple, Women’s rights are human rights. We stand as one, knowing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. We want to send a bold message to the incoming administration that we will not be silenced and we will not be ignored. So many people are now living in fear that their basic civil liberties will be ignored or violated. We are here to make sure that does not happen.

In the time I have been involved with the Women’s March on Washington, I have met some amazing people from all professions and all walks of life. I am so proud to add my voice to theirs.

This is personal for me. I am a woman, I am a mother and I am a friend to many who are scared of the consequences of this election. I am not a part of the top 1 percent and I fear what this will mean for my teenage daughter and what it will teach my young sons.

With just a few weeks to go until inauguration there is still much uncertainty. What needs to happen is a joining of hearts and voices, standing together, never wavering in our pledge to ensure justice and liberty for all.

Share YOUR story with us. Tell us WHY YOU MARCH and send us your picture! Essay submissions are not guaranteed for placement and may be edited for grammar. Send to womensmarch dot alexandra @gmail.com

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