It may not have drawn a big-city crowd, but the enthusiasm at the Lewes Public Library at the one-year celebration of the Women’s March was just as real. More than 200 people jeered at President Donald Trump and cheered at turning the march into a progressive political movement.
Getting the crowd stoked was Pamela Malsch, member of the Women’s March - Sussex organizational group. She was the event’s emcee, and she said she’s looking forward to a big, blue wave to roll national and locally during the 2018 election. “We want to see a blue-nami,” she said.
Malsch’s second biggest applause was when she told the crowd the large men’s bathroom had been commandeered for use by women.
“Men,” she said. “Use the family restroom.”
Last year millions of women marched Jan. 21, across the country, the day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office. One of those marches was on Lewes Beach, and many of those same women marched again at the library.
Joanne Cabry, representing Progressive Democrats of Sussex County, informed the crowd of legislation the movement supports – Senate Bill 10 supporting a minimum wage of $10.25 an hour and House Bill 270 supporting the creation of a Clean Water Trust to pay for hundreds of millions worth of stormwater and wastewater improvements.
Cabry warned the next Flint, Mich., could be right here in Sussex County. There are 35,000 untested and unregulated wells, and people are drinking, cooking and making baby formula with the water, she said.
Meghan Wallace, representing the pro-choice progressive women’s group Mary Ann's List, said she agreed with a recent article that said choosing not to be political is a privilege. The future is female, she said, and together women can blaze a trail toward a more equal Delaware.
Former, and possible future, Democratic candidate Paulette Rappa said from the beginning, it’s not been about the hats or marching.
“It’s always been about us saying, ‘Enough,’” she said.
Rappa said the real march takes place in November. Voting is the real badge of honor, she said, not the hat.
In the definite minority, there were a handful of men in attendance.
John Mears, an active member of Sussex County’s Democratic Party, helped organize a bus load of 50 people to Washington, D.C., last year.
“We’re still fighting, and there’s a lot to do,” Mears said. “This year is going to be critical.”
Sporting his 36th Representative District candidate pin for the first time in public was Democrat Don Allan, who attended the event with his wife Carrie and 3-year-old daughter, Josie.
“This is what it’s all about,” said Allan, hoisting Josie into the air. “Making it a better place, so [Josie] won’t have to be dealing with the same issues in 2038.”