The ‘Resistance’ Is Alive at Women’s March Forum in Gulfport
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist spoke to a group of about 100 – mostly women – activists in Gulfport on Friday. He urged them to continue to fight for progressive issues.
GULFPORT – It was Charlie Crist’s audience.
Cheering and clapping. A standing ovation as he stepped to the podium. One or two calling out: “Charlie Crist for president!”
For his part, Crist returned the favor, telling the 100 or so audience members that “you are not alone feeling how you feel. … You lift my soul and my spirit.”
Crist was speaking at a forum Friday (May 26) at the Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. The forum was sponsored by the Gulfport Women’s March. Members of the group attended one of the marches that took place the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated. The main march in Washington, and other marches around the country, advocated legislation that protected such issues as human rights, climate protection, women’s rights, health care and immigration reform.
Roman said the Gulfport group met in February to discuss how to keep the momentum of the march going. One way, she said, was to bring Crist to speak. Democrat Crist, newly elected in November, represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which covers mid- and south Pinellas County.
“We have come too far, folks, to let progress be stopped,” Roman told the crowd as she introduced Crist. “Any woman of conscience will not sit back and let America down. … We need elected folks to stand up for the Constitution.”
Crist also hit on issues important to the crowd.
On the wall: Crist pointed out that the wall President Donald Trump wants to build on the Mexican border is estimated to cost about $1.5 trillion. And Trump’s proposed budget reduces spending for Medicaid and other non-military lines items by about $1.4 trillion. “It’s like a monument to government waste.”
On immigration: “We are a nation of immigrants. … We’re all different and we should celebrate that. … I get it [that] we want our country to be safe [but] there are ways to do things and ways to not do things.”
On the administration: “It’s like a reality show every day. … Except, it’s real real, not fake reality.”
Crist also talked about hope that the tide will turn in favor of progressives before the 2020 presidential election.
He said, “2018 is extremely important and it’s right around the corner. … If we get the House, it’s over. No legislation…will get to his desk.”
One audience member, Brenda Probasco of Gulfport, said the Democrats should not wait until 2018. The national party, she said, should be working to help candidates win special elections that are happening now. Probasco said she wants Crist to carry that message back to Tom Perez, the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Crist urged audience members to remain involved and to vote.
“It’s a fight,” Crist said. “A fight for the future of the country.”
For information about Crist, go to crist.house.gov.
Photos by Anne Lindberg, TB Reporter
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