In conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, crowds are expected to flood Downtown on Saturday for Pittsburgh's march.
This year's theme is Building Bridges – Stronger than Hate. Speakers are expected to emphasize gun violence, food security and environmental justice. Issues surrounding equitable housing and police relations will also be at the forefront.
From its conception in 2017, the event has pushed for more women in elected office. Tracy Baton has directed all three local events. She said over the past two years she’s seen more people volunteering for campaigns and registering others to vote. More women are also running for office.
“It’s important that there be a wave of women in politics, particularly in Pennsylvania which is really a male heavy political leadership state,” said Baton. “But there’s also a question of what that wave of women is gonna do when we get there.”
She said she’s also seen a significant cultural shift in recent years.
“We have had much more comfort with people talking about white nationalism and white supremacy in Pittsburgh than ever in my lifetime, and that’s a big change," she added.
Saturday’s speakers include local students and activists, leaders of the organizations Casa San Jose and Trans YOUniting and Michelle Kenney – the mother of Antwon Rose.
People will gather at the City County building at 11 a.m. and hear from elected officials and candidates, then march to Market Square to hear from the remaining speakers.