Local women’s march planned

SANDPOINT — A local Women's March on Washington will commence on Jan. 21, coinciding with the national Women's March in Washington, D.C.

As volunteers across the country organize marches, local volunteer organizer Judy Meyers said the Sandpoint event is a grassroots effort by local individuals, not sponsored by any particular group or organization. The national march focuses on the recent election, which is why it is scheduled for the day following the presidential inauguration.

"There are variations on that theme," she said. "Our variation is to be apolitical, nonpartisan and positive ... we want people to see it as a positive event."

The local march will consist of four themes, Meyers said, including advocacy for protecting the environment, protecting human rights and women's rights, social and economic justice and building a welcoming and charitable community.

Four tables will be set up in regards to those themes. Organizers are asking local organizations and nonprofits related to any of those themes to participate by sharing literature and information, and also to bring sign up sheets to get people involved with those groups.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. at the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., opening with four speakers.

The first speaker will be Mary Faux, a local senior known as the "hat lady," Meyers said. Faux will address, as a woman in her 80s, what her hopes are for the Sandpoint community. Following Faux, Jean Gerth of 350sandpoint.org and Jeff Bohnhof from PFLAG — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — will speak as well. The fourth speaker scheduled is Gabriel Burns from Sandpoint High School. Burns is the president of the high school chapter of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force and will speak, as a young woman in the community, what her hopes for the future are. In closing, before the actual march begins, Kate McAlister will read a piece from the Vagina Monologues.

When the speakers finish around noon, the march will begin. In groups, those in attendance will make their way along the city sidewalk, so as not to disrupt any traffic, from the Panida to City Beach where the Sandpoint Statue of Liberty is located. There, a gentleman will read the sonnet, "The New Colossus," which is engraved on a plaque mounted on the nation's Statue of Liberty and includes the famous quote: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Information: facebook.com/northidahomarch or northidahomarch@gmail.com

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