By Su Phelps and Cheri Fisher, Photos by Su Phelps
Last year, they were angry. This year, still angry. Women’s March used Sunday January 21st to kick off a voter mobilization effort designed to electing more women to office. Exactly one year since the Women’s March in Washington DC which was one of the largest gatherings in history with over 5,000 in attendance. They are gathering in Las Vegas to show that women are not backing down; we are bringing the power of our movement to the polls. The women in congress, Dina Titus, Jacky Rosen, Catherine Cortez Masto all send their support for the event as they were in Washington and could not attend.
It also comes two days after the government shutdown as congressional leaders from both parties try to reach a deal to fund the government and find a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted legal status to undocumented immigrants who came to the US with their parents.
Calling their rally “Power to the Polls,” the organizers chose Las Vegas as a focal point for the national drive to register 1 million voters this year. Thousands streamed into Sam Boyd Stadium to listen to an array of speakers decry Trump, anti-immigrant policies and a lack of gun reform legislation after the October mass shooting here that left 58 dead and hundreds wounded. Christine Caria, a victim of the mass shooting and president of the Las Vegas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the link between firearms and domestic violence makes it a critical women’s issue. She said it was important to vote for candidates who would fight to tighten gun laws. She spoke in halting tones — still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries from the shooting — and was helped through her remarks as the crowd stood and applauded her. “I’m going to live for those who died,” Caria said.