New Jersey’s incoming First Lady, Tammy Murphy, is scheduled to join new Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.) among the speakers in Morristown at this month’s Women’s March On New Jersey.
“It’s incredibly thrilling to be inviting people from all over New Jersey to come here,” said Elizabeth Juviler of NJ 11th for Change, one of 11 organizations coordinating the Jan. 20, 2018, event.
Town officials and police are preparing for several thousand participants, who plan to convene at Morristown town hall at 11 am and proceed up South Street to the historic Morristown Green.
“Morristown played a key role in the Revolution. There is no better place than to have this, right in Morristown. I love it,” said Mayor Tim Dougherty, who will welcome the crowd. New Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to introduce his wife.
The march comes almost exactly one year after President Trump’s inauguration and women’s protest marches in Washington DC, Trenton, and elsewhere. For the anniversary, women will be marching in New York and Las Vegas as well as Morristown.
Power to the Polls is this year’s theme. Events of 2017, and the surging #MeToo movement, bring added urgency and purpose to these nonpartisan, peaceful demonstrations, said Marcia Marley, executive director of BlueWaveNJ.
“If we want women’s issues–America’s issues– of freedom and justice, we have to act together. Whether it’s resistance or trying to pass legislation, you have to get involved and work together to get things done,” said Marley.
The Morristown march will honor the late civil rights activist Edith Savage-Jennings, a keynote speaker at last year’s Trenton march. Savage-Jennings, who died in November at age 93, was a friend of Martin Luther King Jr., and a White House guest of every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama.
Scheduled speakers include Elizabeth Meyer, founder of the Women’s March in Trenton; Liz Abzug, daughter of feminist leader Bella Abzug; Lizette Delgado-Polanco, political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee; Nancy Hedinger, president of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey; political activist Essma Bengabsia; and Fairleigh Dickinson University professor Khyati Joshi, an expert on immigration and race in America.
Black Lives Matter Morristown and the Morristown-based Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center are among organizers of the state march.
NJ 11th for Change also has deep ties to the town: Its planned Jan. 12 “Fridays without Frelinghuysen” demonstration outside Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-11th Dist.) office will mark the grassroots group’s 52nd Morristown event since Donald Trump’s election, said Juviler.
Gen. George Washington’s soldiers endured the most brutal winter of the Revolutionary War in Morristown, one of the reasons the town was chosen for the march.
“It’s a beautiful symbol of activism taking hold in winter,” Juviler said, adding her belief that the march “will convey the election power of people engaged, through the lens of women’s and families’ needs.”
“When we share information… and welcome engagement, when we own government as our own, when we vote, we have better outcomes,” she said.