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2018 Women's March Organizers Ask Women to Take the Next Step

More than 3,000 people showed up for last year's Women's March n Fargo. (Courtesy of Nicole Mattson)
More than 3,000 people showed up for last year's Women's March n Fargo. (Courtesy of Nicole Mattson)
January 19, 2018

FARGO, N.D. – A year on from the women's march, organizers in North Dakota are back and they want women to take the next step and get more involved in politics.

After Donald Trump's inauguration last year, more than 3,000 people showed up at the women's march in Fargo. The progressive, grassroots organization Indivisible FM in the Fargo-Moorhead area is organizing this year's march.

Nicole Mattson is helping put together this year's event. She says organizers are asking marchers to think about how they've participated in the democratic process, and then consider how they could go one step further.

"For example, if you're a regular voter but that's the extent of what you have done, maybe you could help someone else vote this year or maybe you could volunteer for a candidate,” she says. “If you're a regular volunteer, maybe you should serve on a local board or commission, or maybe even now it's time for you to run for office."

Mattson says the #MeToo movement, along with the year in politics, is adding momentum to this year's women's march. This year's rally takes place at the Fargo Civic Center at 1 p.m. Saturday and includes speeches from Hamida Dakane, the 2018 Fargo Human Relations Award recipient, Ruth Buffalo of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, and local politicians.

Mattson says after the 2016 election, she started to feel like she wasn't participating enough in politics, so she founded Indivisible's Fargo-Moorhead chapter. Membership exploded from three on the day of the 2017 march to about 4,000 today. She hopes more women feel empowered to participate in the democratic process after Saturday's event.

"You might be more qualified than the man who is positive he can do the job that you're unsure of,” says Mattson. “So, I just really want to help women push past that level of discomfort and understand that they deserve representation in our government and it's not going to happen by magic. They need to go out and get it."

Marches also will take place across the country this weekend. The largest event is scheduled for Las Vegas, where the 2017 women's march organizers are holding their "Power to the Polls" voter drive kickoff on Sunday.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND