This weekend, more than 350 marches worldwide will highlight women’s issues and the importance of marching to the polls. In Chicago, marchers will walk on Saturday, January 20, reminding people to march to the polls for the primary elections on March 20.
“Our main focus is to educate women in particular, but people in general, about the importance of voting,” says Jaquie Algee of Service Employess International Union Healthcare (SEIU) and a board member of the Woman’s March Chicago. “It is good to be educated and/or reminded…and to mobilize people to vote.”
Saturday’s Chicago rally will begin at 9 a.m. with a video montage about the importance of Illinois women running for office, celebrating this year’s surge of women candidates and mobilizing women to get out the vote for the March primaries and November midterm elections. The program will kick off at 11 a.m. with speakers and the march will begin at 12:30.
The event will begin at Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive, the site of last year’s historic inaugural march.
Algee says this year will include more of what happened last year and that there has been a concerted effort to reach out across racial demographics to bring all women together.
“This march is for all women and we want to make sure all women feel included,” she told the Defender. “All women are invited to participate, all women should be there…everything we are marching for affects women of all nationalities and communities…we want to send a loud message that time is up and time is out for nonsense going on both nationally and locally; for the attack on women and people of color…time is up.”
She continued, “What we do know is things can change when people vote. They do vote when women lead that change…some examples are Virginia but we’d like to especially lift up the sisters, the African American women, over 92 percent who led the charge to vote in Alabama…that can be duplicated not only here in Chicago but around the country.”
Participants should enter at Congress Parkway and Columbus. Persons with disabilities may enter at the southwest corner of Monroe and Columbus. There will be an accessible viewing area near rally stage with seating, space for those needing close proximity and/or access to ASL interpreters, Open Captioning, Assistive Listening Devices, and Audio Description (available on first-come first-serve basis.) There will also be a warming center at Chicago Temple on Washington and Clark streets.