Power to the Polls: Women’s March on Capitol Hill

Assembled around the Michigan capitol building in Lansing were women of all backgrounds supporting the power of the polls.

The Women’s March Michigan 2018 was the second annual march to take place in the state. There were two Michigan marches this year, one located in the Lower Peninsula in Lansing and one in the Upper Peninsula in Marquette.

Phoebe Hopps is the founder and president of the Women’s March Michigan. Hopps was one of the first speakers at the march and recommended more women getting involved with civil engagement.

“This is not a moment, but a movement,” Hopps said.

According to Hopps, the march was inclusive of everyone from different backgrounds and even different genders.

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The first speakers at the march were a group of Native American women who talked about how Lansing was once their tribe’s home. The group is called the Manidou Wabanaisee, also known as the Snowbird Singers.

They proceeded to sing a few ancestral songs. The Singers go to various marches and protests around the country, mostly sexual assault and domestic violence rallies. They wear the color purple in solace for victims of sexual assault whether they be male or female.

Mahogany Jones was the next speaker who rallied the crowd and got the audience excited.

“We may differ in religion, race and background…we will fight back, we will push back,” Jones said.

The crowd consisted of many different backgrounds and histories. There were men, kids and of course many women, but they were all different and many drove hundreds of miles to participate.

The signs the participants brought were interesting. They referenced shows and President Donald Trump in various lights and quirky ways.

The march and speakers also showcased assorted women who were running for a specific office, whether it be a school board or for the House of Representatives. One of the candidates running and showcased was Cathy Albro. Albro is running for congress in the third district in Michigan, north of Grand Rapids, which covers four counties.

Albro was originally a teacher and was tired of seeing her students growing up in poverty and needing support.

“I am tired of what’s happening..now is the time to do something,” she said.

Albro wants to help give these struggling families a voice and support. She wants to see kids sleeping in their own beds, not homeless and with parents who make a decent income.

This is not necessarily a fight for women but a fight to better a society according to the speakers and organizers of this movement. The theme of this year’s march was “power to the polls” so on every street corner there was a person asking if you were registered to vote or signing petitions to get Gretchen Whitmer on the ballot for governor.

As Hopps says, “this is the beginning of our fight.”