Women’s March Chicago to honor top female elected officials at Jan. 18 march

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Women’s March Chicago to Honor Top Female Elected Officials and Marchers With Disabilities

at January 18th Anniversary March

CHICAGO, Illinois, January 9, 2020 — Women’s March Chicago will proudly celebrate the historic number of women that Illinois voters swept into office at the city, county, state and national levels, while also honoring marchers with disabilities at its Anniversary March on Saturday, January 18 in Grant Park.
Currently confirmed to lead the iconic March are: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot; Congresswomen Robin Kelly and Jan Schakowsky; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx; Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza; City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin; Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford; and City Clerk Anna Valencia. Each official will also serve as an honorary “Wayfinder,”assisting marchers with disabilities as they make their way from Grant Park to Federal Plaza.
“Our marchers have worked tirelessly since we first marched in 2017 to ensure that a record number of women — and notably women of color — ran for and made it into office at every level,” says Jaquie Algee, WMC board president. “We will convene in Grant Park on January 18th to celebrate this historic accomplishment and to re-energize for all of the work we have ahead in 2020!”
WMC, which makes accessibility a priority at its events, also will honor its marchers with disabilities. They will lead the March — which kicks off at 11 a.m. —   alongside the elected female officials.
Due to Chicago’s unpredictable weather, the event will follow a “March only” format for the first time. With the absence of a rally and the lack of a designated seating area, organizers launched an all-new “Wayfinder” program, where volunteers will direct and accompany those needing assistance along the March route.
“We want everyoneto enjoy the day and be a part of this amazing, ongoing movement,” says Ann Scholhamer, board member and accessibility lead. “We want our marchers with disabilities focusing on the issues that matter to them most, and not on logistical details such as moving through the crowd or finding their way to their meeting point after the March.”
The Anniversary March will also focus on a “Gallery of Issues.” Selecting from a myriad of progressive concerns, WMC chose five critical topics: the 2020 Census ; climate justice ; gun violence prevention ; health care access ; and voting .  Along the lively and interactive March route, WMC and partner organizations will cheer on marchers, display banners and signage, engage in text message campaigns, hand out branded swag and more.
“Marchers will learn and engage around these issues,” says Dr. Dilara Sayeed, board member and programming lead. “However, because our marchers are passionate about a multitude of causes, we are encouraging people to come out and raise their voices — and their signs — about any and all issues that matter to them, and then continue to activate and mobilize throughout 2020.”
Grant Park will open at 9 a.m. on March day. The general March entrance will be located at Columbus Drive and Ida B. Wells Drive. Persons with disabilities will enter at Monroe Street and Columbus Drive and will be directed to a designated Accessible Gathering Area.
WMC’s 2020 Anniversary March is generously sponsored by SEIU Illinois State Council.
For more information or to arrange one-on-one interviews with March organizers and partners, please contact Harlene Ellin at 708.431.6603 or  comms@womensmarchchicago.org.

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