Our view: Steamboat Women’s March was hopeful | SteamboatToday.com

Our view: Steamboat Women’s March was hopeful

At issue: The second Women’s March in Steamboat Springs attracted a diverse crowd of people to rally downtown Sunday. Our view: The event transcended politics and represented this community’s commitment to inclusion and peaceful assembly. Editorial Board • Suzanne Schlicht, COO and publisher • Lisa Schlichtman, editor • Tom Ross, reporter • Hannah Hoffman, community representative • Bob Schneider, community representative Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com.

About 500 people put powder pursuits aside Sunday morning to participate in the 2018 Women’s March in downtown Steamboat Springs. The march attracted a multigenerational crowd with men, women and children gathering together to support this year’s theme — Power to the Polls.

And while the reasons to march were rooted in politics, the message the event sent to our community transcended rhetoric. The people who walked down Lincoln Avenue carrying signs were there to make sure their voices were heard, and their right to peacefully assemble is a visible reminder of what makes America truly great.

The signs that were created for the march were distinctly Steamboat. And the tone of the rally was not angry but hopeful.

Marchers stayed off of the streets and walked, and in one case, cross-country skied, along the sidewalks on either side of Lincoln, traveling from Bud Werner Memorial Library to the lawn of the historic Routt County Courthouse.

To us, the march represented community and made us proud to live in a place where people of all ages, from all backgrounds, locals and visitors, could join together to express themselves and their views in a peaceful and inspiring manner.

Regardless of your political affiliation, the sight of hundreds of people gathered together on a Sunday morning when they could have been skiing should have ignited feelings of pride and renewed hope in a country that allows such freedoms.

The importance of gathering in support of women’s rights is one that rings true during the current #metoo and #timesup movements. In the modern era, Routt County can be proud of its history of consistently electing numerous women to public office, although it should be noted that it wasn’t until 1974 that the first woman — Steamboat Pilot Editor Dee Richards — was elected to serve on the Steamboat Springs City Council. Currently, five of the seven City Council members are female.

But Sunday’s march was not just about equal rights for women. It was designed to engage and empower all people to support human rights, civil rights, disability rights, workers rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and reproductive rights, and it was a place to champion social and environmental justice.

The event was clearly and almost uniformly left leaning, but it was still emblematic of our constitutional right to assemble and a news event, and we would have had the same praise for a gathering of conservatives coming together to express their views.

One of the most important messages that was voiced at Steamboat’s Women’s March was “Hear our vote.” And that is a call to action we can all get behind regardless of our political affiliations.

If people want change, they must first and foremost vote. And in that same vein, people who hope to spark change should consider running for office. In the wake of Sunday’s march, two female candidates, both political newcomers, have announced their candidacies for county office, and that’s a positive, for sure.

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