Washington, D.C. Women's March photo: Fran Sterling

Safety Harbor Women on the March

This weekend, women around the globe found ways to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, either in Washington, D.C., or in cities closer-to-home. Safety Harbor women were no exception. After traveling to the capital or marching in nearby St. Petersburg, Florida, these Safety Harbor women share their motivation and experiences.

Fran Sterling

Fran Sterling traveled to Washington, D.C. for the March on Washington. As a pediatrician, Fran cited health care concerns, especially for children but also women’s reproductive rights as her motivation. Fran noted that it is important “to assure rights that do not discriminate based on religion, race, or sexual orientation, to preserve our democracy and protect free speech.” Fran attended the March with friends and “basked in the energy of the day.”

Back home, Fran feels a commitment “to work at the grassroots level” and to work on health care reform in particular.

Sarah Robinson

Another Washington, D.C. marcher, Sarah Robinson was compelled “…to join others to send a message that we will not be silent.” The agenda of the Trump administration is, Sarah expressed, “unacceptable.” At the March, Sarah appreciated a “feeling of solidarity and unity being amongst so many diverse people…And of course, the signs.”

Sarah notes a desire to “get more involved and pay attention in our upcoming local elections,” as Safety Harbor’s municipal elections will be held on March 14, 2017.

Dylana Robertson

Dylana Robertson didn’t travel as far, but had the company of her father, husband, and son for the St. Petersburg March. Dylana was impressed by the peacefulness and diversity in St. Petersburg.

Asked about the impact of the March, Dylana said, “I marched today for my mom, children and my students who are so concerned about the loss of civil rights…My entire family and network of friends are ready to contribute in whatever way possible. Marches, rallies, community outreach.”

Mary Poole & Meghan Poole-VanSwol

Mother and daughter, Mary Poole and Meghan Poole-VanSwol, attended the St. Petersburg March together. Said Meghan, “…when local marches were announced, I knew I would go. My eldest had the SATs in the morning, my daughter had circus and her birthday party, and my youngest has a mild concussion. None of them could come with me but I had to go for them.”

Mary shared that although she had wanted to travel to Washington, D.C., she was glad she attended the local March. “I will be 70 next month. My knee is a mess, and I walk with pain… I was determined to do this.” Mary connected with others on the March whom, she says, were also veterans of marches and protests from the 1960s.

“Every day, Mary said, “I will commit to resist and do more than that – create a sane, just, compassionate world.” Meghan reflected, “We are blessed to live in a beautiful small town. All towns have their problems. In our town, I hope to bring back the energy to be a better human. To see each other openly and kindly.”

Tanja Vidovic

For Tanja Vidovic, the St. Petersburg March was also a family affair. Tanja attended with her husband and their three young daughters and her husband’s parents. Her favorite part of the March was experiencing it with her entire family. A desire to increase connection motivated Tanja to attend.

“I am hoping that locally we all see that we are not alone in our fight. This is a global shift. We are also able to see all the other fights that others are fighting. I know that I plan on attending more local meetings like NOW, and also planning on calling my local representatives and speak my mind more on injustice. I feel that others will as well.”

Whether they participated in the nation’s capital or a short drive from home, after the Women’s March this weekend these Safety Harbor women feel renewed commitment to justice and equal rights across the nation and here at home.

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