Women’s March planned for Saturday

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An estimated 800 to 1,000 people joined the Women’s March in Sandpoint on Jan. 21, 2017. This year’s march is scheduled to begin with a rally at noon on Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Sandpoint Middle School gymnasium. (File photo by MARY MALONE)

SANDPOINT — North Idaho will join the nation Saturday as women across the country march in solidarity. 

The goal of the national Women's March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change, according to womensmarch.com. The Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events.

The Sandpoint event will begin with a rally in the Sandpoint Middle School gymnasium, featuring several speakers.

"The focus of the rally, 'First She Marched - Then She Ran,' is to harness the political power of women to create positive social changes for themselves and their families," said event organizer Rebecca Holland in a statement.  

Individual organizers of the march have their own variation on the theme of the national march, and in Sandpoint, the focus is to encourage women to run for office, said event organizer Judy Meyers. That is why Rep. Paulette Jordan was chosen deliver the keynote speech during Saturday's rally.

"We want to encourage other women to engage and support candidates, and to be candidates themselves," Meyers said.

Jordan, 38, is a Democratic nominee for Idaho governor and member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. Jordan is serving her second term in the Idaho House of Representatives. She is a member of the Idaho House Resources and Conservation Committee, State Affairs Committee, and the Energy, Environment and Technology Committee. Jordan is also an appointed Idaho Representative to the Energy and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments for the Western Region.

According to the Idaho Legislature website, Jordan has served as a speaker and mentor to young people nationwide. She speaks nationally on economic and community leadership, resides with her family in Plummer, enjoys raising her sons, horseback riding and appreciates the greater mountain area.

Additional speakers include Rebecca Schroeder, a Coeur d'Alene candidate for state representative; Emily Strizich, Reclaim Idaho; Kate McAlister, president of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce and a previous candidate for state representative; and a representative from the Sandpoint High School Human Rights Club.

Doors open at noon and, following the rally, a march will commence along an established route. The route will begin at SMS, proceed north on the Division Avenue pedestrian path, turn east on Lake Street, south on Florence, west on the community trail along Highway 2 and back to SMS. 

Participants are encouraged to bring signs championing women’s issues and human rights, Holland said in the statement, and men are encouraged to join in support as well. Peacekeeper volunteers will be on hand to ensure the event is a peaceful one.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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