The Women’s March started as a moment in history and quickly evolved into a powerful, global movement. Exactly one year after the historic event in Washington, D.C., and around the world, organizers will launch the Women’s March: Power to the Polls national voter registration tour. And it kicks off in Las Vegas, as Nevada is an important swing state in the 2018 midterm elections.
Taking place January 21 at Sam Boyd Stadium, the stationary event—not a march—will feature live entertainment, speakers, grassroots activists and elected officials to celebrate the efforts of 2017. Those expected to appear include Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Congressman John Lewis, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and actress Marisa Tomei, among others.
“The reasons why they chose Nevada is [the state] really is a snapshot, a microcosm of what is happening in the United States,” says Deborah Harris, the Women’s March Nevada state coordinator, referring to the October 1 mass shooting and political sexual harassment allegations. “A lot of issues the nation is facing, we hold a piece of all of it here and we are really trying to come up on top—build up and build out so that more people are engaged.”
The idea was born at the recent Detroit Women’s Convention, where Harris said different regions came together and put a plan in place. The goal of the Power to the Polls tour, which is stopping in every swing state from the West to East Coast, is to get people registered to vote, informed and engaged in important issues coming up in the midterms.
“Women, especially black women, we’ve always had a powerful vote,” Harris says. The most recent example of this is the Alabama election, where Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct, was narrowly defeated. Ninety-eight percent of black women voted for his opponent, Doug Jones, and was praised for his victory.
Women have made major strides in the past year. The #MeToo movement took off, the first trans woman was elected to office and more women than ever are running for office in 2018. Yet, as women continue to move forward, there is still a disconnect in certain sectors. Women’s reproductive rights, equal pay and sexual harassment continue to be issues women are battling.
“We have a lot of old pillars to destroy with the patriarchy—with education, with ‘the woman’s place,’ and there has been a lot of purposeful miseducation around just what our power means,” Harris says. The Women’s March is hoping to dispel the old narratives, and Harris says it’s an honor to start off 2018 in Las Vegas.
“It sets the tone for what it could look like in other cities, so we are almost writing a blueprint,” Harris says. “It’s changing the narrative, changing the mentality, changing the heart of women. That’s gonna take work, but it’s work that we’re no longer afraid of.”
Stay up to date at powertothepolls.com for the latest information regarding the event.