Among the estimated 175,000 people in attendance at the Women’s March on Seattle on Jan. 21 (and the millions who participated in marches worldwide), some familiar Kirkland faces could be found in the crowd.
Kirkland resident Jan Young attended the march with her daughter Zoe and two of her friends.
“I have two daughters,” Young said. “I felt like we needed to stand up for women’s rights (under) this new administration.”
The concerns of the protesters were not limited to women’s rights, and included opposition to a lot of the initiatives that President Donald Trump, his administration and the Republican-controlled Congress might move forward surrounding immigration, healthcare, climate change and other issues.
“We both have a lot of concerns about the policies being proposed by the upcoming administration,” Kirkland resident David Greschler, who attended the march with his wife, Paula White, said.
Those in attendance were struck by the diversity in the crowd in terms of race, age and gender.
“It was amazing just to see how many people, not only women, came together to take a stand,” Young said. “It was awe inspiring.”
Greschler said he was happy to see people come together in person instead of relying solely on social media or other technology to make their voices heard.
“It was really incredible,” he said. “There’s nothing like being with people. … It’s a really powerful feeling.”
“The enthusiasm and the excitement was so palpable,” Kirkland resident Leah Kliger added.
These Kirkland residents who participated in the march are not putting their activism to rest, from the city level to the national arena.
“I think we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Young said, adding that, for starters, if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, she will push back to ensure there’s a good replacement. “We have to keep tabs on what’s going on.”
Kliger said she is “fired up and ready to go,” preparing postcards to send to her local, state and federal government representatives on the issues that matter to her. On the national level, Kliger, who carried a “Thou shall not mess with women’s rights” sign at the march, said she would work to make sure Planned Parenthood doesn’t get defunded.
Both Kliger and Greschler said they’ve been meeting with others in Kirkland about the need to make sure the ideas the city shared in the recently shared Inclusive Communities Proclamation are put into action.