Following the third and final presidential debate, women and men spoke out against Trump and the GOP’s long-standing physical and legislative attacks on women. The voices of diverse and powerful workers, teachers, leaders, immigrants and activists resonated today at Wacker and Wabash with the resounding mantra, “Women Demand Respect.”
“Americans do not want candidates who will further divide us or strip away the rights of half of our population,” said Donna Miller, Board Chair for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. She went on to say, “we need a champion, not a demeaning bully,” as she pointed out the countless anti-women policies pursued in Illinois over the last twenty years influenced by a conservative agenda that goes beyond Trump. “We must tell our friends and our families that it’s important for us to know these issues and vote on these issues. Why? Because women demand respect
Trump has been offensive for months, and the GOP’s anti-women agenda has been offensive for even longer. Trump was nominated to represent the Republican Party, and his anti-women and hateful sentiments are perpetuated by the conservative officials who support him.
“We are lucky to live in a state where the question is, by what margin voters will reject Donald Trump,” said Adrienne Alexander, AFSCME Council 31. “Unfortunately elected officials like the Governor of Illinois continue to support Donald Trump. We have an obligation to speak out against hate and violence, and support for a nominee for president that embodies these things should not be acceptable for anyone who purports to represent all of us.”
Oren Jacobson, co-founder of Men4Choice added, “this isn’t simply about defeating a candidate who brags about sexual assault. It’s about recognizing our responsibility to push back on peers engaging in this kind of speech or behavior. We must demonstrate the respect women deserve in both word and deed.”
Women not only deserve respect, today they were demanding it. Voices from all backgrounds, faiths, genders and perspectives encouraged voters to educate themselves, volunteer for campaigns that secure women’s rights, and most importantly, vote.
“We’re all here today because we are sailing in the right direction, towards the right type of democracy and the rights we want for women,” said Kathy Doherty, Executive Director of Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network.
The closing message came from Betty Magness, Vice Chair of Independent Voters of Illinois. “Vote early! And if you missed the deadline to register, grace period voting is in effect. You can register and vote at the same time at the board of election through November 7. Early voting began Monday, October 24. And remember, vote as if your life depended on it!”
With 19 days until the presidential election these women and men are sending a message. Women demand respect, and millions of women will be casting their ballots on Tuesday November 8.
Speakers and Sponsors were: Chicago Women Take Action, Battered Women’s Network, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, AFSCME Council 31, Citizen Action Illinois, Chicago Activist, Men4Choice, SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana, Equality Illinois, Independent Voters of Illinois – IVI IPO, Chicago NOW PAC, Grassroots Illinois Action, National People’s Action and UNITE HERE local 1.