On Saturday, women’s marches were held all across the country, including right here in Southwest Florida. WINK News caught up with some participants who wanted to express themselves and get their message out before the November election.
“This is the most important election in my lifetime. I have children and grandchildren that I am standing here for,” said Ellen Burnette, of North Fort Myers.
She joined countless other women taking to the streets across the country to make their voices heard. “Issues that we are facing today, voter rights, women’s rights, gay rights, everyone’s rights!” said Caitlyn O’Rourke of Fort Myers. She participated in today’s march as well.
But there weren’t only women out today. Husbands and fathers took to the streets and showed their support as well. “I just came out in support for all the women and all that’s going on around our country,” said Shah Hadjebi from Sanibel.
More than 400 marches were organized across the United States in an effort to speak up on issues and topics that women may be affected by.
“There’s so many issues that are important that we need to speak up about,” said Kathy Mayo, Vice President of Women’s March Fort Myers.
O’Rourke said, “Reproductive rights have never been more in trouble in this country. Roe v. Wade is on the ballot again, even though it was passed so many years ago.”
Others are focusing their signs on issues closer to home. “The city is just really turning their backs on the homeless population,” said Darci Hillyer, one of today’s participants. “I think that we need some new leadership, both at a local and federal level and that’s why I’m out here holding the sign today.”
But, aside from other things, their main message is making sure your ballot is filled out and turned in by November third.
“Please go out there and vote. It’s really important,” said Hadjebi.
Burnette says change cannot happen without your vote. “They will not be changing our world unless we stand up and demand it and the best way that we can do that is in the voting booth,” she said.
“Your vote is your voice, so get out and vote!” O’Rourke said.