12,689 steps of marching to be exact. But who’s counting?
On Saturday, I marched with 2 of the houligans and some of their friends in the the Los Angeles Women’s March. We marched to support every Human Rights issue known to (wo)man. Nothing in my mind was excluded:
- Civil Rights
- Reproductive Rights
- Immigration Rights
- LGBTQ Rights
- Health Care Rights
- Gender Equality
- Racial Equality
Just to name a few. The list could go on and on. My favorite slogan/sign of the day that encompassed everything I was feeling was this:
Because equality doesn’t hurt anyone. It doesn’t. The people I know personally who have remained untouched by any of the aforementioned issues are far and few between. Many of my closest friends and family belong to these so called ‘special interest’ groups. I’ve been touched by many of these issues, like being paid less than my male counterparts for equal work, to my nearest and dearest who belong to the LGBT community. Dear friends have been subjected to civil rights violations the likes of which turn my stomach. And there were YEARS that our family was uninsured because we couldn’t afford basic healthcare ( Side note: If I had any idea how expensive it was to have a baby without adequate health insurance, I would have had some deep second thoughts prior to having that 3rd Sea Breeze cocktail all those years ago, and that was for an uncomplicated vaginal birth with no drugs!). I’ve heard nightmare stories about families being bankrupted by medical expenses. Affordable healthcare should be a basic right that has been excluded for many. This is just one small issue that’s touched my family. It’s just not right.
I’ve spent a lot of time examining the so called ‘bubble’ I was living in prior to the election. I get it. I understand that I see what I want to see. To be candid, the last 8 years of Obama’s administration have been no cakewalk for my family. We suffered under the economic conditions during that time period. I was laid off, repeatedly. I was on Unemployment. I was uninsured or underinsured. However, I would happily do it all over again in order to make the social advancements the Obama administration promoted. The idea of going backwards is more than I can bear.
So I marched. I was heartened to see the Los Angeles turn out, and then was completely blown away by the world wide support. I’ve looked at the pictures of all those peaceful protesters over and over again, and each time it gives me hope for the future. But as happy as I was to show up and demonstrate, I’ve struggled with ‘what now’? Anyone else struggling to move forward in a positive way might want to check out the Women’s March website outlining 10 Actions in 100 Days. They do a great job outlining simple grass roots level things one can do to continue to ensure our voices are heard. The first suggested action was to send a postcard to your state senator. I downloaded the link on the website for the ink cards app and was able to send a postcard (complete with a personal photo I uploaded) directly to my State Senator, Kamala Harris. The postcard provides space to list 3 things most important to you. Again, a small step, but it is something. So go forth and do something, if not for yourself, in the name of someone you care about.
And I GIGANTIC THANK YOU TO THE L.A. POLICE DEPARTMENT, SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT AND FIRE DEPARTMENT, who helped provide an environment to engage in this type of activity, while keeping everyone safe. You all did an amazing job and seemed upbeat while doing it! Thank you!
After the march we needed to debrief and process what we’d just experienced, so we walked to Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, and the had the most lovely drinks and food, cozied up to the outside fire. As we talked about what we’d done, my youngest houligan, who took the election very, very hard, commented that he was happy to see how many people cared about the things he cared about and it gave him hope. This is what I’d hoped would happen and certainly made me glad that we’d made the trip to participate in such an important movement. I LOVE L.A.!