Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2019

Currently: 54° — Complete forecast

Sun editorial:

National Women’s March allows city to shine as beacon of hope

What a proud and momentous day this is for Las Vegas.

When thousands of women from across the country gather today for the National Women’s March, the city will present itself to the world in its best light — as one of the most politically dynamic and significant communities in the nation.

That’s why organizers of the march chose to hold the march in Las Vegas over, say, Washington, D.C., where it was first held the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Our rich ethnic diversity, our vibrant immigrant and LGBTQ communities and our status as a purple state made Las Vegas an ideal place to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant, homophobic and xenophobic agenda.

With Republican Sen. Dean Heller seen as vulnerable in a state that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 and where Trump’s policies continue to draw intense backlash, Las Vegas also offered a launching point for the march’s #PowerToThePolls national voter registration and mobilization tour.

“It was very relevant for us to go to Washington, D.C., last year to send a message we were all united,” Linda Sarsour, a Women’s March co-organizer, told CNN. “When 2018 came around, we had to be really strategic about what message we want to come out of this gathering. And in order for us to put forth a strong message that women are going to lead the victories in 2018 electorally, we had to go to a state that was relevant. We chose Nevada.”

So this is a day truly worth celebrating. After Las Vegas put itself on the political map as home of the third presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, the city is once again showing it’s far more than a tourist spot. It’s a place whose voters matter, and where a group of passionate advocates for immigration reform, reproductive rights and other issues are working hard to mobilize the electorate.

It’s also the face of the nation’s future from a demographic standpoint. In an analysis last year of Census Bureau data, The New York Times reported that Clark County most resembles the United States of 2060 based on projections of current trends in ethnicity, age and gender.

So the party that makes inroads today in Las Vegas stands to keep seeing benefits down the road.

Holding the march in Las Vegas also will help organizers overcome criticism that previous marches in Washington and other cities have suffered from a lack of diversity and inclusivity.

Speakers are expected to include undocumented immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina elected to the Senate, among others.

Today, they and others will offer hope for Americans and recent immigrants who’ve been unfairly vilified and whose rights are under attack. Those individuals deserve to know that they’re supported, and that their neighbors will stand up for them.

That’s especially the case right now for our community’s “Dreamers,” otherwise known as recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who are living in the U.S. after receiving Temporary Protected Status.

The Trump administration has announced it would discontinue DACA protection in March barring congressional action, and it also is ending TPS status for Salvadorans, Haitians and Nicaraguans.

The march will spotlight work being done on behalf of those individuals and many more by Americans resisting the Trump administration.

So to those who are visiting for the march, welcome. To local activists and organizers, thank you.

What you’re doing today will be felt across the nation and around the world.