March On is one of two major national left-wing advocacy organizations that were created from the January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Washington and related events that took place across the United States in response to the election of President Donald Trump the previous November (the other is the Women’s March Global). The formation of March On was driven by the organizers of the state and local marches that coincided with the event in Washington, D.C.
March On is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that engages in electoral politics. It also maintains an affiliated SuperPAC and 501(c)(3) educational arm.
March On ran a targeted get-out-the-vote drive coinciding with the tightly-contested December 2017 U.S. Senate special election in Alabama, and endorsed 15 Democratic candidates for state and local election during the 2018 mid-term election cycle.
March On supports a variety of left-wing policy agenda items, including a very strict form of gun control that includes a prohibition on possession of common firearms. Other policy positions include support for sanctuary cities, support for abortion on demand, opposition to capital punishment, and support for a $15 minimum wage.
In addition to the January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Washington, D.C., there were similar rallies that took place across the nation that had no organizational nor legal affiliation with the event in the nation’s capital. Organizers of many of these local events held commemorative events on the first anniversary of the 2017 event, and have continued to participate in local activism. Many of these activists were involved with the creation of March On, or have affiliated with it since.
The leaders representing several dozen of these independent state and local organizations are listed as serving on the leadership council of March On.
Two of the 14 people from the January 2017 Women’s March on Washington organizing team are also on the board of March On: Vanessa Wruble (then the head of campaign operations), and Ting Ting Cheng (then the legal director). Nine of the remaining 14 individuals from the organizing team that ran the 2017 event in Washington, DC, have leadership or staff roles with the Women’s March, Inc., the other national organization born out of the DC march.
There is a 14-member “interim board” that leads March On, but no staff or executive leadership is identified.
March On seeks to leverage the grassroots momentum of the movement to work for specific policy and electoral victories on issues such as support for gun control and passing the Equal Rights Amendment.
2017 Alabama Senate Special Election
March On was deeply involved in the Democratic mobilization for the 2017 special election for the U.S. Senate from Alabama. The organization claims to have mobilized a coalition of partners that included local chapters of the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and the Feminist Majority Foundation, to create a sophisticated voter education drive strategically aimed at boosting African-American turnout in four targeted counties and among students at historically black colleges. March On provided absentee voting information printed on flyers and posters for distribution by is coalition partners, and then assisted with targeted canvassing and get-out-the-vote projects.
2018 Midterm Election
For the 2018 midterm election cycle, March On endorsed 9 candidates for U.S. Congress, 3 candidates for governor, and 3 candidates in state legislative seats. All 15 are Democrats.
In two slightly different online statements, each called the “Declaration for Our Future,” March On defines several of its policy positions. These include:
Support for the Equal Rights Amendment.
Support for abortion on demand.
Support for a $15 minimum wage.
Support for banning offshore oil and gas extraction.
Support for removing corporate money from politics.
Support for sanctuary cities.
Opposition to privately managed and owned prisons.
Opposition to capital punishment.
Support for very restrictive gun control.
Prior to the first anniversary of the January 2017 rallies, U.S. and Canadian organizers of some of the local groups and commemorations — some of them now affiliated with March On — received notice from Women’s March, Inc., that these locals were prohibited from using the phrase “Women’s March,” to identify and promote their groups because Women’s March, Inc., had applied for a U.S. federal trademark for the phrase. Differences over tactics and ownership of the “Women’s March” phrase have resulted in public criticisms between Women’s March, Inc., and March On and its allies.