Fort Worth women’s march attendees emphasize the need to vote

By Bernice Ogbondah

The one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration began with a government shutdown and a worldwide women’s march.

The march closest to TCU took place at the Tarrant County Courthouse on the cross section of East Weatherford Street and Commerce Street in downtown Fort Worth. The event lasted well over two hours with thousands of attendees of varying races, ages, sexes and creeds.

A woman stands with a sign at the rally. (Photo by Paris Jones)

Volunteers at the march helped people register to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

Among them was Sandra Price, who said she was hesitant to vote as a young adult.

“I was in my early twenties before I voted because I didn’t know how and I didn’t know what to expect,” she said.

Once Price learned how to vote, she cast her ballot at every opportunity, she said.

In 2008, she and her daughter served as delegates to the democratic convention in Austin. 

A child holds a poster at the march. (Photo by Paris Jones)

“It was so amazing. [I] got to teach my daughters about democracy and how it works.” 

Fort Worth resident Kiphani Allen said she was motivated to attend today’s rally because of the outcome of the 2016 election and the campaign process.

“The entire election campaign was a game changer for me, just seeing where this country has fallen back in terms of race, in terms of women, in terms of politics,” she said.

Allen said the U.S. is in an “awful space,” and she aims to vote in every local election. 

I don’t care what we’re voting on,” she said. “It could be voting on a waterfall, and I’m gonna go vote, mostly because people died [so] I could. Women died [so] I could. So it’s necessary.” 

Other marchers echoed Allen’s sentiment about the division felt in the country.

Fort Worth resident and first-time protester Tracy Kass said the president’s language isolates immigrants who come to the U.S. wanting what is best for their families. 

A protester holds a sign at the women’s march. (Photo by Paris Jones)

“The rhetoric he puts out is very divisive and hateful,” she said. “It’s giving a platform where people aren’t even willing to talk to each other anymore and we don’t need that.”

Kass pointed out the immigrant roots of the country and first lady Melania Trump. 

“This is a country that was brought together by immigrants,” she said. “[Trump’s] wife is an immigrant. So for him to flat out say racial and hateful things is wrong. We need to stand up, and he needs to go.”

A citizen attends the rally. (Photo by Paris Jones)

Returning marcher Tanya Wisnoski said she wants to see new elected officials and hopes for a bluer Texas after the midterm elections.

“We’re Hispanic women who don’t like anything that’s going on in our country these days, or at least not much,” Wisnoski said. 

Many TCU students also attended the march.

Jacob Portillo, a third-year student, said the messages portrayed at the march can be implemented on TCU’s campus. 

“I’m the treasurer of Spectrum, which is the LGBTQ organization on campus,” Portillo said. “So we just constantly do work to try and make things better for gay people and just people in general on campus,” he said. 

Third-year TCU student Gabriel Wallace said women’s rights are equally as important as men’s rights.  

“If there’s any woman who’s not being treated equally, then we’re all not being treated equally,” he said. 

Wallace said he hopes the U.S. will become more inclusive of marginalized people.

“I hope that we can make better strides to kind of cancel out the regression that our government has been trying to push, and to keep moving forward like we should be doing,” he said. 

–Katie Coleman and Paris Jones contributed to this report.