OP-ED: Join Women's March for York
Equality, clean water, clean air, access to livable wages, affordable childcare and health care, women’s rights and other concerns are impeding women, and the communities in which they live, from reaching their full potential, nationwide.
These are some of the issues that affect women and their communities, including the women, and their families, in York County.
On Jan. 18, diverse groups of women, social and political groups, and those who support the mission and goals of the Women’s March (WomensMarch.com), will be gathering for the fourth annual event across the United States. This year, York is hosting a sister march on the same date. The route, a half mile, will be very symbolic of the many concerns that form the platform of the march.
Beginning at Penn Market, we will gather between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Located at 380 W. Market St., this market symbolizes the hardiness of the people of York, surviving despite the challenges of the world around us. There are many women contributing to its rebirth by establishing businesses within it. The market will be open and warm for marchers and shoppers, offering a chance to get a bite to eat, a last hot chocolate and a visit to the restrooms.
We will step off at 11 a.m and head east, walking on the sidewalk of Market Street, towards the Codorus Creek. This 42-mile tributary feeds into the Susquehanna River and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.
As we cross the creek, we are asking people to think about the challenges faced by the creek. There is pollution by corporations and individuals that is well-known. “The Inky Stinky Codorus” is on the radar to be cleaned up but it will take continued vigilance to keep the water clean, and the banks of the creek free of trash and debris. Everyone can help by putting trash and household items where they belong, not in the creek.
Crossing the creek, we come to the Rabbit Transit Transfer Center. This is the lifeblood for many folks who are trying to become part of the “thriving economy” — unable to afford private transportation but in need of a ride in order to get to a job to support their families.
The solutions are partnerships: Local employers, available workers and the buses of Rabbit Transit. However, many folks are still being left behind, regardless of high employment rates. This location, on the weekends, becomes a gathering spot for the hungry, with York Giving Helping Hands steps up and prepares meals. Marchers can bring cans of green beans, a universal need for the group, if they choose. Creative solutions will move York forward, and that is one of the goals for the march in York.
Concluding at Continental Square, we are inviting people to talk to each other, to gather ideas that can be done by individuals, groups and neighborhoods. For individuals who are unable to make the march, York XL (7 E. Market St.) will be open and those individuals may join us at the square. There, we will have patio heat lamps, conversations, and individuals promoting the beliefs and goals of the march.
It is the hope that these conversations will lead to understanding the needs of the people, championing the belief that individuals can make a difference. Whether it is one person picking up plastic trash, extending a hand, standing up for injustice, stopping a bully or figuring out how to partner with others, to make life better in York is what I hope we accomplish.
We need to march because the government is not the “only” answer to our local issues. We have to change the dialog and move towards a healthier, more inclusive York County that works for everyone. We need to stand up. We need to speak up. We need to show up, and that is the goal of Jan.18. Registration is open through WomensMarchYorkPa@gmail.com. Bring your signs, enthusiasm and ideas.