Marching for climate, jobs and science on Saturday

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

A March to bring a message that South East Texas is ready for a better environment, more workers’ rights, and social justice is more than just a movement but instead about living.

“We want to show that we are here,” Southeast Texas Progressives Marsi Patronella said. “We want to show other Liberals we do not have to stay in the shadows. Instead of stand up and say we want to be at the table, we are showing up and demanding a seat at the table.”

Deborah Mitchell, Orange County Democrat Chair, said the collaboration between the Democrat Party and the Progressive movement is not about a political party.

“It is to turn a negative into a positive,” Mitchell said. “It is not to sabotage the party, we have the same principles at heart: wages, rights, immigration. It is about human rights.”

The march is to give residents an opportunity to hear the message of the organization.

“The success of any election continues after the election when the people hold the office accountable,” Mitchell said. “It is a message about choice.”

The March followed by a Rally will be the first political March on this level in recent years according to Mitchell.

Patronella said it is also a time to help draw out like-minded people.

Speakers at the Rally will be John Baker on Unions and what they have done for the American people, Deborah Mitchell, Shelby Smith, a local activist who organized women’s March in Beaumont and is part of the leadership team for Golden Triangle Indivisible and Katy Swiere, local high school student and  environmental activist who will be attending Pomona University in California where she will study environmental justice.

“Progressive is any idea which moves us forward,” Louis Ackerman said.

Orange was selected for the March to show the movement does not stop at the Jefferson County line.

“There are no borders or boundaries,” Patronella said. “We selected April 29 to coincide with the March in Washington.”

The March will begin at 12 p.m. Noon on April 29 at 505 N 15th Street in Orange. The Rally will follow at 2 p.m.