Three events in my life caused me to beam with pride to be a citizen of this country. The first occurred when the U.S. attorney general resigned in protest, when Richard Nixon asked him to fire the Watergate special prosecutor. The second time was the election/re-election of President Obama. Last year, it was my participation in the 2017 Women’s March. Each of these events reflected an essential attribute of a functioning democracy: citizens who display courage, inclusiveness and commitment.
I cajoled my book club of grandmothers to attend the San Diego Women’s March the day after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. We were joined by more than 200,000 other pink, pussyhat-wearing grandmothers, mothers corralling small children, and young women with a fire in their eyes, plus husbands and other supportive men.
Last year’s march theme was unity and the recognition that women’s rights are human rights. It was a demonstration that celebrated racial, cultural and gender diversity. The 2017 march achieved its goal; the chartered bus that took us home was full of energized and engaged citizens.
The theme of the 2018 Women’s March is Power to the Polls. It is the next logical step in the effort to do something positive during a time of turmoil in our country. To cast a ballot in any election is to be an engaged and patriotic citizen. No matter what your political view may be, voting is the equivalent of taking action rather than succumbing to anger, despair and powerlessness. People who vote don’t just complain; they exercise their right to take a stand and be counted.
Idyllwild-Pine Cove residents have a reputation for fulfilling their civic responsibility. On average, the community has 10-percent higher voter turnout than the rest of Riverside County. In the past, Pine Cove has had 90-percent voter participation. Citizens who take the time to learn the issues, make informed decisions and cast a vote, are critical to the preservation of our democracy.
This year, my three daughters and two daughters-in-law urged me to join them for the 2018 Women’s March in Los Angeles. I planned to go until I learned there would be an Idyllwild Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 20. I believe an event in a small mountain village is a potent testament to the engagement of citizens who want only the best for their country and each other. I hope the turnout for the 2018 Idyllwild Women’s March is another affirmation of the commitment residents have shown to fulfill their right and privilege to vote.
Attendance at the event will provide an opportunity to talk to other concerned citizens, express your views, and learn about ways to keep engaged and informed as the 2018 elections approach. A voter registration table also will be set up. I think your involvement will make you proud to be an American.
Mary MacLaren Rider
(Editor’s note: As always, the views of our columnists and letter writers are not necessarily the views of the Town Crier editors. The Town Crier welcomes views from all writers, including those in “Another Point of View.”)