Weekly Radio Address: Breen says Women's March energy must spur further action
I bought plane tickets to Washington, D.C. back in August because I knew I had to go to the inauguration. I took photos of this year’s ballot, with my name right there on the same page as the first woman ever nominated by a major party for president. I was going to see history be made.
Things didn’t go as I thought they would. But I still went to Washington last weekend. And the experience I had in the streets with half a million other women was almost indescribable. It reminded me how strong we all can be when we come together.
Hi, this is Senator Cathy Breen from Falmouth. Thanks for tuning in.
At first, I wasn’t sure I would go to the Women’s March on Washington. And, honestly, I was not fired up and ready to go. But I did go. And so did millions of women who rallied together that day all over our country and all over the world.
In Washington D.C., we sang and marched together. In Portland, and Augusta and Fort Kent, we chanted together. In cities all around the United States, we embraced each other and promised to take care of each other, to defend each other and fight for each other.
Our voices may not have been as deafening as the crash of that last glass ceiling will be when it finally cracks. But we made another kind of history last week, and I was humbled and honored to be a part of it.
When the marches drew to a close, everyone was asking the same question: What comes next? If you’ll indulge me, I have a few ideas.
First: Call your elected representatives to Congress and the Maine Legislature about the issues that matter to you. All of us in elected office rely on our constituents to give us their point of view. We aren’t mind readers. If you don’t call, or write, or show up at our offices, we won’t know. We might not always agree, but you can’t make your case if you don’t pick up the phone.
Second: Jump in. There are groups of like-minded people on nearly any issue you can imagine right here in Maine. Health care? The environment? Economic inequality? Women’s rights? Find your kindred spirits and make a plan. Write a letter to the editor. Volunteer. Talk with people who might not agree with you. See their humanity, and show them yours. Very few people have changed the world from their living rooms. Many more have done so by engaging with their community.
Third: If your passion for civil rights, equality and public service moves you, run for office. Too many women say to themselves, “I could never do that. That’s not me.” It is you. And it has to be. If I can do it, you can do it.
There won’t be a Women’s March every weekend. The work of putting all that passion and energy to service is not always as headline-grabbing. And I’ll be honest: It won’t always be fun. But you have the power to make a difference. And together, we have the power to change the world.
This is Senator Cathy Breen from Falmouth. Thanks for listening.