Amy Williams was positive Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidential election.
In fact, she was so sure that she bought nonrefundable airplane tickets to Washington, D.C., for herself and her 9-year-old daughter, Harper, so they could share a historic moment together — and see in person the inauguration of the country’s first woman president.
“It was like betting on Secretariat,” said Williams, 47, of Fort Worth, a small-business owner and mother of two. “I just knew she was going to win.”
Then came Election Day, when Republican Donald Trump surprised many by winning the presidency.
Williams said she didn’t want to go to D.C. anymore, and she certainly didn’t want to take her daughter to the 2017 presidential inauguration.
Then she learned about the Women’s March on Washington — a time for women nationwide to join together and share the message that women’s rights are human rights — planned for Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration.
“This is our silver lining,” Williams said. “It’s our opportunity not to be angry protesters but to band together as women.”
She told her daughter that when people get upset about certain things, they can be sad and depressed or do something about the situation.
“I said that we are choosing to take action,” Williams said. “And being part of this historical march is going to help us heal and move forward.”
Williams and her daughter are among the many North Texans planning to traveling to Washington this month for either the inauguration or the Women’s March.
She and others stress that they are participating in the march as a sign of hope, not protest.
In fact, she hopes that Trump is successful in the White House.
“The president has been elected and we have to respect that,” Williams said. “I hope he does a great job.
I want my voice to be heard.
Amy Williams, a Fort Worth woman going to the Women’s March on Washington
“But I want my voice to be heard. I want women to make an impact. And I want my daughter to see us making our voices heard.”
‘Lemonade out of lemons’
It began as a one-of-a-kind birthday president for her daughter.
Since Harper turns 10 in January, Williams thought it would be a the gift of a lifetime to take her to the nation’s Capitol to see a Hillary Clinton inauguration.
She bought the airplane tickets, lined up a place to stay with a high school friend and asked for tours of the Capitol.
Then the election results showed that the country would not welcome its first female president in 2017.
On the upside, Williams said, she realized that she and Harper will create lifelong memories at the march.
In fact, she told her daughter that “this is going to be one of those moments that you are going to be telling your kids about. She said, ‘That’s kind of cool.’ ”
Like Williams, Judy Clark bought nonrefundable airplane tickets to Washington before the election and planned to attend what she believed would be Clinton’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Then Clinton lost.
But Clark, a 72-year-old Fort Worth woman, said she didn’t want to lose her first opportunity to see a presidential inauguration.
“When your candidate doesn’t win, you’ve got to make lemonade out of lemons,” Clark said, adding that she likely will attend the inauguration — and the march — if she can get tickets to the event.
“You’ve got to see the good, the bad and the ugly,” she said. “You’ve got to see the whole thing.”
That way, if Trump turns out to be a good president, Clark, a retired CPA and aspiring real estate agent, said she’ll be able to say she saw his presidency from the very beginning. “I want to be able to brag on him,” she said. “I’m worried to death right now but I’m having faith.”
The Women’s March on Washington is geared for women to unite and share the message that women’s rights are human rights.
Even so, Clark said she’s joining the march because she wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with like-minded women, sharing hope for the future.
“I think it’s going to be a statement to Donald Trump: ‘We are women and we are watching you, even though you have a Cabinet full of old white men,’” Clark said. “I’m excited to go. I’m glad I’m doing something.”
Marching in D.C.
The Women’s March could draw tens of thousands of people from across the country. A recent count on Facebook showed that more than 155,000 people said they plan to attend.
Organizers note that the march is free: Anyone who supports women’s rights is welcome.
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault,” the organizers said in a statement. “We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
“In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore,” the statement read. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
The march initially was to begin at the Lincoln Memorial but shifted because of the difficulty in getting permits for the area because the Presidential Inauguration Committee still has a claim to that area on Jan. 21.
People are now scheduled to gather at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol.
Sister marches, including one in Austin, will be held across the country for those who couldn’t make it to Washington.
Sister marches will be held across the country for those who couldn’t make it to Washington. That includes the Women’s March on Austin, scheduled to start at noon Jan. 21 at the Texas Capitol.
‘Can’t stop believing’
Leslie Lutz will join the march to protest Trump’s choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
The 46-year-old Fort Worth woman said she will carry a sign protesting that choice as she walks with friends from Arlington who will protest rape culture and the naming of Steve Bannon as Trump’s chief White House strategist.
“For me, Trump’s choice of EPA director hasn’t sparked enough outrage, and that’s why I’m shining a light on that issue,” said Lutz, a freelance editor and mother of a preschooler. “Environmental issues are women’s issues. Clean water and clean air should be a right. Climate change is a threat to our health and our future.
“Our new president has to stop reading fake news and conspiracy theories and trust the overwhelming evidence the scientific community has gathered about the threat of climate change,” she said. “He needs to replace Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, who is now going to be the head the EPA, with someone qualified to do the job.”
She’ll be joined by others there, including Fort Worth’s Pam Durham.
Durham, a devout Clinton supporter, will be carrying a sign of her own — a white Hillary banner that Texas supporters signed last year before Election Day.
The original goal was to have similar banners signed in all the states brought to Washington to be displayed as a sign of support during the inauguration supporters thought Clinton would have.
Now the Hillary signs will be converted into Unity banners, as purple and black are added to the material, and they will be carried during the march.
“So many people signed these and all the loving energy is still on the banners,” said Durham, a 64-year-old acupuncturist. “It’s no longer about Hillary.
“But it is about taking all the things we stood for — and that she stood for — and moving those forward. It’s still the values we dream of and uphold for this country.”
The goal of the march, she said, is to send a positive statement from Day One of Trump’s presidency that women are still here and they will be watching.
“No matter what happens, you pick yourself up and go onward,” Durham said. “We can’t stop believing in what we believe in and fighting for what we believe in because we didn’t get exactly what we wanted.”