Pioneer Valley Women’s March set for Saturday

  • Hundreds of people gather at Northampton City Hall during the Pioneer Valley Women’s March on Jan. 20, 2018. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2019 12:06:09 PM

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the former director of the Pioneer Valley Women’s March. Lindsay Sabadosa was the former director of the Pioneer Valley Women’s March. 

NORTHAMPTON — The third annual Pioneer Valley Women’s March is set for this coming Saturday and will celebrate the successes of women elected in state and national elections last year.

Organizers are officially calling the march the Women’s Wave to reflect the record-breaking number of women elected to public office last year. Locally, four of the five new lawmakers representing Hampshire County are women.

State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and state Reps. Lindsay Sabadosa, D-Northampton, who is the former director of Pioneer Valley Women’s March, Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, and Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, represent a new era of leadership in the Legislature.

Comerford described the march as an “energizing and galvanizing opportunity.”

“The march this year is one part celebration, but also one part call to action,” Comerford said. “You can elect women into office and now the work really begins … We are far from being done, there is no resting with so much at stake in our nation.”

The march is not only a celebration of women who were elected, but also celebrates “the thousands of women who helped get them elected or worked in other ways to promote equality and justice,” Rachel Maiore, director of the Pioneer Valley Women’s March, said in a statement.

“We march to recharge our movement, recommit to one another and remind the powers that be that the women’s movement is a force to be reckoned with, and together, women are unstoppable,” Maiore said.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, more than 100 women won seats during the 2018 mid-terms. Previously, women had never held more than 84 of the 435 seats.

Dr. Marty Nathan, a Northampton resident and member of the Climate Action NOW, has attended the Women’s March in the past and said “the coming together for these women’s marches gives us energy.”

Last year’s women’s march drew nearly 2,000 people to Northampton as a demonstration against President Donald Trump and his administration.

“In order for meaningful political change, there are grassroots movements, like the women’s march, and political organizing to elect progressive officials,” Nathan said. “Many of us who have been marching these last two years have participated in organizing to elect people who will fight what (Trump) stands for.”

She said that state legislators elected from the local area are “180 degrees opposed” to Trump and will carry out an agenda that supports women, people of color and workers.

The march will be “a rejoicing in our accomplishments of the mid-term elections and focusing on what we need to do in the next two years until the Trump administration is out of power,” Nathan said.

The march begins at noon at Sheldon Field in Northampton and will wind its way down Bridge Street, or Route 9, to City Hall for a rally.

The rally will feature local community speakers and music and will be followed by a Community Activists’ Fair at First Churches on Main Street where area organizers will offer ways for the public to become involved with the larger community.

Speakers will include Sabadosa, Mehlaqa Samdani, executive director of Critical Connections, and Kamini Waldman, co-vice president of the Northampton High School Democrats.

The Pioneer Valley Women’s March is one of hundreds of sister marches planned nationally and worldwide on Jan. 19 to mark the anniversary of the 2017 International Women’s March.

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com.


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