Going to Women’s March events? Here’s what you need to know

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Yasmina Chavez

Protesters gathered in downtown Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in support of the Women’s March on Washington for the Women’s March in Las Vegas. Nevada Congresswomen Dina Titus and Congressman Ruben Kihuen were among some of the speakers to address the crowd as they gathered at Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse.

Mon, Jan 15, 2018 (2 a.m.)

If you go: Women’s march #PowerToThePolls

• What: A stationary event kicking off a yearlong “voter registration and mobilization tour,” which will register voters in swing states across the nation.

• Where: Sam Boyd Stadium

• When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 21

Revving up on campus

Several college campuses and high schools have events planned.

• Tuesday: Education About Your Candidates (students get to know their candidates through a scorecard and general information about voting).

• Wednesday: Day of Hashtags (students are encouraged to take to social media about #PowerToThePolls. In addition, youth can sign up as volunteers at: tiny.cc/WMAnniversaryVolunteer).

• Thursday: Your Voice, Your Vote (this event will focus on enrolling youth to register to vote).

• Friday: TGIF-Show up with your Sign Up (sign making was one of the most popular methods of engagement last year).

Inclusive steps

In an effort to become more inclusive, Women’s March Las Vegas and National is collaborating with several demographics that felt left out of last year’s event, including partnerships with sex worker organizations such as Erotic Heritage Museum, the LGBTQ community and the Native American community. Elizabeth Mercedes Krause, a representative from the Native American community, asked that all their members wear red at the rally to represent murdered and missing women. Members of the community can join the Facebook group Las Vegas Native to find out how to get involved.

Leading up to the anniversary of last year’s Women’s March, organizers are busy unraveling confusion and misinformation surrounding the events planned in different cities.

One of the biggest misconceptions they’re battling is that there won’t be an actual march.

“There’s some confusion, so we want you guys to know this is a stationary event,” said Jean Green, co-state coordinator for Women’s March on Washington-Nevada, at a community meeting. “Here in Las Vegas, on the 21st, what’s happening is stationary. Think of it as a rally, a festival, something fun like that.”

Las Vegas will kick off the national #PowerToThePolls movement, an effort to harness the momentum of the Women’s March to register voters in swing states across the nation for November’s midterm elections. The rally is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 21 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Organizers’ goal is to enroll 1,000 voters at the event, and a million voters nationwide before the elections.

Securing a venue for the event took more time than anticipated because of safety concerns after the Oct. 1 mass shooting.

“There is great sensitivity regarding security in Las Vegas right now, as you can imagine, and they wanted all their t’s crossed before the site was announced,” Helen Foley, a public relations officer representing the organizers, wrote in an email.

More than 5 million people participated nationally in last year’s event, which took place just weeks after the election of President Donald Trump. This year, national organizers selected Las Vegas as the hub for their activities following a year in which the state elected its first female senator (Catherine Cortez Masto) and witnessed women speaking out with allegations of mistreatment by a sitting Congressman (Ruben Kihuen).

“Nevada has recent experience with some of the most pressing issues facing women in our nation today, from gun violence to politicians accused of sexual assault,” says the organization’s event page.

“We chose Las Vegas because of what happened here. We know Nevada is a swing state,” said Carmen Perez, one of the four co-chairs of Women’s March National, in a community meeting.

Silver State Voices, the Nevada chapter of the nonpartisan voter registration organization State Voices Locals, will help oversee the voter registration process. Locals will register in person, and out-of-state visitors will register through an online portal.

“If you’re happy and excited about marching, I hope you’re happy and excited about leading people to the registration tables,” said Deborah Harris, co-state coordinator for Women’s March on Washington-Nevada. “And once again, making sure they’re a part of the history that’s happening in their own backyard.”

Las Vegas wasn’t the only city battling confusion

On Jan. 4, Women’s March Phoenix tweeted from its account @azsocialjustice: “there are several websites distributing false information about the #womensmarch and #WMPhx. If you see false info, please contact the website to have it removed.”

In addition to the Women’s March Phoenix’s tweet and the confusion surrounding the Las Vegas #PowerToThePolls, Facebook’s algorithm marked a Women’s March in Spokane, Wash., called Women+ Move Mountains as spam, and then canceled the event page, according to the group’s Facebook page.

In an effort to clarify some of the confusion, both the national Women’s March and Women’s March Las Vegas have taken to social media, hosted several community meetings and collaborated with the press.

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