The temperature may have been low on Saturday, but enthusiasm was high at River Park for Hamilton’s inaugural Women’s March. Over 200 participants marched down Main Street to express their views on a variety of issues from women’s rights to climate change to immigration. Many also used the platform to express their distaste for the current administration.
Jill Deppell of Hamilton and Kierstin Schmitt of Corvallis led the crowd with chants of “OUR BODY, OUR CHOICE” and “SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT CLEAR, IMMIGRANTS ARE WELCOME HERE.”
Public Service Commissioner Candidate Monica Tranel kicked off the rally by telling the crowd that “we need more women in positions of power.” Tranel has specialized in regulatory issues before the PSC for nearly 20 years and said she recently faced an all-male board who told her that “climate change is not real and that wind turbines cause cancer.” Experiences like this spurred her to run for office.
Former history teacher and committed Democrat, Jan Abel of Hamilton, also addressed the crowd. “They say the size of the crowd in DC was smaller than previous years, but look at the size of our crowd here for our first Women’s March in Hamilton!” Abel went on to encourage people to continue in their efforts to effect change. “Look how many women ran for the Senate and the House and won in 2018! We can make a difference!”