Marchers filled three city blocks in downtown Pittsburgh Sunday with signs that read “Grab ‘Em By The Midterms,” and simply, “Vote!”
The theme of the second annual Women’s March here in Pittsburgh and in cities across the country was “Power to the Polls." The actions focused specifically on engaging and building coalitions to influence elections and improve outcomes for women ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The march in Pittsburgh was among dozens that took place across the country over the weekend.
“I can’t vote so I feel like this is kind of the only way I can show my support and try to get people to vote the way I would, so, trying to spread my influence,” said 17 year-old Julia Bulova. She said she’s most concerned with sexual harassment and equal pay for women.
Bulova's friend Reilly Jackman turns 18 this year just in time to vote in the midterm elections this fall.
“I think it’s really important to have young women who are just starting to vote to go out there and really activate the polls because there’s a really really low voter turnout in this country,” Jackman said.
Sunday's event began at the City-County building where some men and women seeking elected office in western Pennsylvania gave speeches. Attendees, along with a marching band, marched to Market Square for a rally. Speakers there included community organizers who explained how the participants could become voter registrars, assisting family and friends in registering to vote. Attendees could also sign up for future training.
While the Women’s March wasn’t specifically an “anti-Trump” event, 65 year-old Shelley Urbank-Wolf said the President’s actions have spurred her to become more politically engaged, and for the first time she’s volunteering with congressional campaigns.
“This man is not thinking about the average human being, let alone the women of this country,” said Urbank-Wolf. “We’re insulted by his behavior and we’re sick of it, and we’re here to tell him ‘no more.’”
Deborah Freeman of Oakland, 62, brought her granddaughter to the march. “This is the power,” said Freeman. “The people.”