A year ago, I joined the Women's March. Now I'm in office

After the Women’s March I decided to run. In 2017, thousands of other women across the US made the same decision

i: The Women’s March in Washington DC, 21 January 2017. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

​by: Sarah Stankorb
Sarah Stankorb is a city council member for Wyoming, Ohio

On 20 January last year, I cried. I vaguely remember shouting at the Obamas on TV to go right back to the White House. I was a mess of frustration and anxiety. I was one of millions.

It was an inauspicious start to a new year – one that changed me, changed many of us.

On an impulse, I volunteered to be bus captain for the second bus leaving Cincinnati for the Women’s March in Washington. That weekend, at the rally preceding the march, I could hear but not see Gloria Steinem over the crowd. On tiptoe, I could see pink hats in all directions, a sea of women pressing together; the crowd contracted tighter.

Eventually, the rally segued to march. The crowd spilled forth on to sidewalks and roads. I began to breathe, full, deep breaths. Women around me began singing: “We will not go away. Welcome to your first day.”

It was a strange birth in strange times.

The women around me were going to change our country. They would run for office.

It became a year with more social gatherings than I’d ever known. I heard about a woman at a local nursing home who formed an Indivisible group – the group’s average age was 86. One local resident organized dozens of us to make hundreds of valentines to deliver to Congressman Brad Wenstrup to assert our priorities: “I love clean air and water!” “I love affordable healthcare.”

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sconnell1791
sconnell1791

One of the things that she raised concern over was expansion of concealed carry laws, but people with concealed carry permits are the most law-abiding people of any demographic. Their rate of conviction for violent crimes is even lower than police officers, according to research from criminologist John Lott: https://crimeresearch.org/2015/02/comparing-conviction-rates-between-police-and-concealed-carry-permit-holders/

If anything, I think she should be glad that more people are getting carry permits, because these people are being background checked and trained, and they are being verified as law-abiding people. And when they get those permits to carry, they will just about never do something that will cause them to forfeit their rights (and in the process, hurt other people).

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