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Letter: Women are determined to make their voices heard

Women are determined to make their voices heard

On returning from the Women’s March on Washington, my spirits were buoyed by the sheer number of people who participated. It was a remarkable coming together of humanity to express their dissatisfaction with the 2016 election and the regressive policies that are sure to follow.

Having run for Congress in the past election, the march held a special poignancy. The 27th Congressional District of New York is probably the most gerrymandered Republican district in the entire state. My run for office and the march affirmed that there are women out there looking for leaders who are like them and can give voice to their concerns.

When we heard Rep. Chris Collins and Carl Paladino defend the misogynistic statements of President Trump and offer no rebuttals, it cut to the heart of all decent people. Paladino still sits on the Buffalo School Board and Collins remains in office voting against women’s issues, particularly defunding Planned Parenthood.

I came away from the Women’s March with the same feeling and determination as others who marched. If you devalue us, we will call you out. If you dismiss us in the halls of power, we will make our voices heard even louder.

In Jay Newton-Small’s book, “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works,” she says that “when women reach between 20 and 30 percent of any organization … they begin to change how things are done.” It’s the theory of critical mass, which is the minimum amount of something required to start or ignite a chain reaction. Everyone should take notice that the marches on Jan. 21 reached “critical mass” and there is no stopping this groundswell, grass-roots movement of women in politics now!

Diana Kastenbaum

Batavia

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