Non-profit

March On

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.[1]
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,[2] and endorsed 15 Democratic candidates for state and local election during the 2018 mid-term election cycle.[3]

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.[4]

General Background

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.[5]

The leaders representing several dozen of these independent state and local organizations are listed as serving on the leadership council of March On.[6]

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).[7] 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.[8]

There is a 14-member “interim board” that leads March On, but no staff or executive leadership is identified.[9]
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.[10]

Election Involvement

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.[11]

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.[12]

Policy Agenda

In two slightly different online statements, each called the “Declaration for Our Future,” March On defines several of its policy positions.[13] 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.

Controversies

Trademark

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.[14]

Strike for Black Lives

On July 20, March On participated in the “Strike for Black Lives.” Labor unions and other organizations participated in the mass strike in 25 different cities to protest racism and acts of police violence in the United States. [15]

Employees in the fast food, ride-share, nursing home, and airport industries left work to participate in the strike. Protesters sought to press elected officials in state and federal offices to pass laws that would require employers to raise wages and allow employees to unionize so that they may negotiate better health care, child support care, and sick leave policies. Protesters stressed the need for increased safety measures to protect low-wage workers who do not have the option to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers of the protest claimed that one of the goals of the strike is to incite action from corporations and the government that promotes career opportunities for Black and Hispanic workers. Organizers stated that the strike was inspired by the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike in 1968 over low wages, inhuman working conditions, and a disparity in the distribution of benefits to black and white employees.

They stated that the purpose of the “Strike for Black Lives” is to remove anti-union and employment policies that prevent employees from bargaining collectively for better working conditions and wages. [16]

References

  1. Stockman, Farah. “One Year After Women’s March, More Activism but Less Unity.” New York Times. January 15, 2018. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/us/womens-march-anniversary.html ^
  2. “Alabama 2017: Special Election.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/alabama/ ^
  3. “March On Endorses.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/endorsements/ ^
  4. “Declaration for Our Future.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/declaration-for-our-future/ and https://www.wearemarchon.org/declaration/ ^
  5. Stockman, Farah. “One Year After Women’s March, More Activism but Less Unity.” New York Times. January 15, 2018. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/us/womens-march-anniversary.html ^
  6. “About.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/about ^
  7. “About.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/about; and “National Committee.” Women’s March on Washington. Archived from the original December 27, 2016. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20170101162318/https://www.womensmarch.com/team/ ^
  8. “National Committee.” Women’s March on Washington. Archived from the original December 27, 2016. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20170101162318/https://www.womensmarch.com/team/ ^
  9. “About.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/about ^
  10. “Declaration for our Future.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/declaration-for-our-future/ ^
  11. “Alabama 2017: Special Election.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/alabama/ ^
  12. “March On Endorses.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/endorsements/ ^
  13. “Declaration for Our Future.” March On. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.wearemarchon.org/declaration-for-our-future/ and https://www.wearemarchon.org/declaration/ ^
  14. Stuart, Tessa. “Who Owns the Women’s March?” Rolling Stone. January 20, 2018. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/who-owns-the-womens-march-204038/ ^
  15. Morrison, Aaron. “AP Exclusive: ‘Strike for Black Lives’ to highlight racism”. Associated Press. July 8, 2020. https://apnews.com/d33b36c415f5dde25f64e49ccc35ac43. ^
  16. Morrison, Aaron. “AP Exclusive: ‘Strike for Black Lives’ to highlight racism”. Associated Press. July 8, 2020. https://apnews.com/d33b36c415f5dde25f64e49ccc35ac43. ^
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