Opinion: Naples Women’s March sent strong message


Jan. 24, 2019 By Jennifer Boddicker

On Saturday, Jan. 19, women sent a strong message at the Women Leading the Way March in Naples’ Cambier Park, organized by Collier Freedom.

While controversy around the national Women’s March may have impacted turnout, which was less than in previous years, the spirit and enthusiasm was obvious—and the message was unmistakable.

01-19-19 mirlande desir naples women's march
Mirlande Desir

Longtime resident 93-year-old Myra Daniels, as well as 16-year-old youth activist Anna Barry, declared the need for women to continue breaking gender barriers. Mirlande Desir, of the Naples Haitian community, called for comprehensive immigration reform and protection for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients. Pam Keith, the first African America female to run for U.S. Senate from Florida, encouraged engagement with fellow citizens, even Trump supporters, about issues such as Medicare, Social Security, and healthcare.

Pink T-shirts of Planned Parenthood supporters dotted the crowd, as well as red T-shirts from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Susan Cone, president of the local Moms Demand Action chapter, reminded everyone that gun violence is a non-partisan issue. Public pressure after the Parkland shooting caused Florida to pass small, but meaningful landmark gun safety legislation in 2018.

01-19-19 jennifer boddicker cropped
Jennifer Boddicker

Annisa Karim, Collier County Democratic Chair, voiced the need for better representation and engagement with local government. David Holden, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, encouraged male allies to listen and avoid mansplaining—drawing chuckles from the crowd.

Penny Taylor, Collier County commissioner, gave a history of females in government in Collier County.

Several speakers (including myself) called for attendees to get involved and elect more women at all levels of government. We also celebrated a record 118 females elected to the US Congress in 2018, including people of color, Muslims, and members of the LGBTQ community.

That fight has only just begun.

(Photos courtesy of Jennifer Boddicker)



Liberty lives in light

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