HOUSTON - Hundreds of marches took place across the country Saturday to demonstrate the power of the women’s vote.
From the Houston Federal Courthouse to the steps of the historic Harris County Courthouse, more than 150 marchers took to downtown Houston streets.
The group was a majority of women chanting for social change and emphasizing their voting influence.
They also joined 437 other scheduled marches in the nationwide #CountOnUs movement.
“This year is the hundredth anniversary of the women’s right to vote in America,” says Robin Paoli.“Women are standing together and saying America can be better. We need an America that’s free, and we’re going to exercise our vote to ensure that we have a free, safe America.”
Paoli is the President of Houston Women's March, the local organizing group, which says it doesn't endorse political candidates, but its stance in 2020 is unmistakable.
Marchers shouted, “Trump, Pence - out now!” during the 15-minute walk, although the chant wasn’t on the official list reviewed before the group started.
On a press release detailing the purpose of the #CountOnUs marches, it states that marchers “will all send a clear message to Trump and the Republican Party that their time is up.”
However, in Houston, Republicans are also busy.
Political consultant Jessica Colon was working a campaign event in Spring during the downtown event.
“The bottom line here is that this president has made America safer. This president has made our community safer. This president supports law and order. These are the basic principles of society,” she says.
According to Colon and Paoli, in Harris County, both political parties are viewing early voting as a way to get results they’d like to see.
“Part of the integrity of an election is access to voting, particularly in communities that may have transportation issues or might have reduced availability to go to the polls because of their working schedule,” says Paoli.
The march ended with speeches, also urging attendees to cross the street and cast their ballot at an open polling location.
One early voter, Miranda Tadlock, says she cast her ballot Thursday and came out to support the march.
“I just wanted to set a good example for my daughter and have her see democracy at work,” she says. “We believe that women’s rights are human rights, and we are here supporting that.”
Across ethnicities and income groups, there’s no doubt that women’s numbers could determine the outcome of the 2020 election of not just the next president, but a full ballot of local decision-makers.
“We all know we run the world. [Women] need to get out there and make their voices heard. There isn't one ideology that represents the woman's view,” says Colon.
“Women will be the soul of America,” adds Paoli, referencing a Coretta Scott King quote. “Women will be the soul of the 2020 election.”