On Jan. 21, thousands marched through the streets of Downtown for the Pittsburgh Women’s March on Washington. Now in its second year, the event, which is part of a national movement, was spurred by the election of Donald Trump. The president has frequently made disparaging remarks about women, most notably in a 2005 audio recording that surfaced in 2016 where Trump can be heard saying of women, “grab them by the pussy.”
But in the year since Trump took office, women have had to contend with more than his mouth. Around the country, Trump and legislators at the federal and state levels have pushed for laws to restrict women’s rights, roll back environmental protections and discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
Some have criticized the Women’s March movement as a flash in the pan or a feel-good measure without any teeth. But organizers say this year’s march was more than just a symbolic gesture. Themed “Power to the Polls,” the main goal of this year’s march was to increase left-leaning voter turnout in the upcoming midterm elections.
“The midterms are coming,” said Tracy Baton, director of the Pittsburgh march.
But voting isn’t the only way to carry momentum from the march on throughout the year. Whatever your cause, here are a few ways to take action right here in Pittsburgh.
If you’re worried about the environment and protesting is your thing, join one of the local groups who hold demonstrations outside the offices of the region’s top polluters. Visit pennenvironment.org for more info.
Put your money where your mouth is and donate to one of the local organizations supporting trans people. Check out SisTers PGH, a shelter for trans/nonbinary people in Western Pennsylvania suffering from discrimination and homelessness.
Last year, both branches of the Pennsylvania legislature passed legislation to restrict abortion access. (The law was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.) Keep an eye out for future legislation, and call your representatives.
Pennsylvania still ranks poorly for the number of women in elected office. In order to ensure women’s rights are protected, getting more women a seat at the table is key. There are several women running in upcoming elections locally. Pick one or a few to campaign for.