Millburn, West Orange Women Getting on the Bus for Post-Inauguration Marches

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Ordinarily Sandy Foster of Millburn wouldn’t have thought of herself as politically active, but that changed after November.

“After the election Kellyanne Conway said Trump now had a mandate for his agenda. That’s not true, he lost the popular vote. Trump’s going to test our democracy. Our ethical safeguards are in danger of falling to the wayside,” the artist and mom said.

Foster plans to join the thousands of women who will attend the Women’s March on Washington D.C., next Saturday, Jan. 21, after the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.

“You can’t sit by and hope that elected officials will do what you want them to do. You have to speak out as a citizen.”

Like Foster, other local women have felt compelled to act for the first time, such as Julie DeLoca, founder of fashion and retail marketing consultancy firm LOCA marketing.

“Obama said, ‘We all hold the most important job: citizen.’ We need to go to remind lawmakers that we have power and a voice and that Citizen is an important job,” said DeLoca, a Millburn resident. “I’m willing to put myself in harms way for the first time that’s how important it is to me. Even my 71-year-old mom is flying in from Florida for the day of the march.”

Julie DeLoca and daughter

Julie DeLoca and daughter

March organizers have been careful to state that the march is not a protest, but a women-led march in support of women’s issues and human rights.

DeLoca too does not view the march as an anti-Trump, but a protest against what she views as the growing threat to individual rights in the country.

“Actions and words count. Trump’s cabinet nominations are telling. We don’t like Jeff Sessions not because he’s a Trump nominee; we dislike him because of his record. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act, The Matthew Shepard Act, and he’s got a terrible civil rights record. Look, Trump won, we’re not trying to take that away from him. We’re just trying to make sure he’s not going to take anything we’ve worked for-our rights-away from us.”

Susannah Leisher, from Millburn, NJ echoes this sentiment, “I won’t say he’s not my president, he was elected, he is. I’m protesting the threat to the equality and the rights of all people of this nation.”

The doctoral student plans to bring her oldest child and her mother to the march: “I want my kids to see there is more you can do as an individual. As we saw during the election, giving money isn’t enough. I can go stand and be counted in the heart of the nation where I can say I’m a proud American. It’s a march of solidarity to show those in D.C. we’re watching them.”

“Susannah Leisher with mom Hilary Hopkins, a veteran activist who first marched on Washington to protest Nixon’s Inauguration in 1972.

Susannah Leisher with her mom Hilary Hopkins, a veteran activist who first marched on Washington to protest Nixon’s Inauguration in 1972.

Foster disagrees. “The organizers of the march don’t consider it to be anti-Trump, but I do, which is why I had to go to D.C. He’ll be there and so will I. I want to send a message to other countries and to those in Washington. I want my presence at the march to say that there is no mandate for Trump’s agenda. That is not how our government works.”

About 200,000 people are estimated to attend the D.C. march, although numbers could swell to double the initial figures. For those unable to make it to Washington, there are sister marches planned around the country, including New York and Trenton. Claire Dragon of West Orange plans to march in Trenton.

“I’m Jewish and my daughter goes to a Jewish preschool. Waking up the day after the election was the first time in my life I’ve worried that she’s a part of a group that is being targeted for hate,” the Director of Development for a non-profit said. “I want to stand with the groups most at risk with this new administration to let them know a white Jewish girl from New York City is with them, and will not let them be diminished.”

Added Dragon, “I want my daughter to know that her mother stood on the right side of history.”


Find the DETAILS AND INFORMATION PLATFORM for the D.C. Women’s March here


Information on SISTER MARCHES here


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