Brittney Carlson (left) and her sister, Tanya (right), met with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Women’s March. Klobuchar greeted the Minnesotans who traveled overnight to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the rally and march by the White House. About 500,000 people, mostly women, rallied in opposition to newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump’s policies on women, the environment and immigration.
Brittney Carlson (left) and her sister, Tanya (right), met with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Women’s March. Klobuchar greeted the Minnesotans who traveled overnight to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the rally and march by the White House. About 500,000 people, mostly women, rallied in opposition to newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump’s policies on women, the environment and immigration.
Their trip to Washington, D.C. was initially planned to celebrate Democrat Hillary Clinton becoming the United States’ next president, the first woman to hold the nation’s highest elected office. But the way the presidential election unfolded, Belle Plaine High School graduates Brittney and Tanya Carlson couldn’t sit idly by and accept the results without taking action.
The daughters of Terry and Randy Carlson, Tanya and her younger sister, Brittney, were among a group of Minnesotans who traveled to Washington, D.C. in about a dozen coach buses Jan. 20 to be a part of over 500,000 people – mostly women – who rallied in protest of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump’s positions on women and his policies on immigration, economics and the environment.
When the Republican Trump  won the presidency, without winning the popular vote, Tanya Carlson said she and her sister decided at the last minute to pay the $250 per-person fee to make the trip to the rally and march in Washington, D.C.
“They are both strong, independent, well-informed young women,” said Randy Carlson, a longtime BPHS math teacher and coach. “They will work for what they believe is right and are willing to be active in their beliefs.”
Tanya and Brittney’s parents were among the estimated 90,000-plus people at a similar rally in St. Paul at the state capitol, one of several sister marches around the world. The stated intent of marchers was to promote civil rights, gender equality, diversity and inclusion.
“It’s just something I had to do for myself,” Tanya Carlson, a school counselor in the BOLD (Bird Island, Olivia, Lake Lillian District) School District, said of the trip to Washington, D.C. She opposes the GOP president’s policies on womens’ rights, equal rights, climate change and immigration. “I don’t know if it’ll change anything, but we’re not sitting on the sidelines.”

Overnight to D.C.
Driving overnight from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., the caravan of buses carrying the Minnesotans arrived in the nation’s capital the morning of Jan. 21, the day after President Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.
Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar greeted the group as it arrived in the nation’s capital around 7 a.m.
The day (Jan. 21) included a variety of speakers at the National Mall who encouraged the audience to not accept policies that threaten the middle class, women and the environment. The people who made the trek to Washington, D.C. were encouraged to organize at the grassroots level and support candidates who will work for change.
Brittney Carlson, 31, believes people have to stand up for what they believe in. She noted Trump ran as a Washington outsider, a person who understands business and appeals to the masses with a populist message. Yet in the first weeks of his presidency, Carlson pointed to actions the president has taken on immigration (travel ban) and the environment (Dakota access pipeline) besides his cabinet appointees she can’t support. When coupled with his campaign message, the two sisters decided doing nothing was not much of an option.
An actuary with United Health Care, Brittney Carlson believes the effort was worthwhile. “You can sit and talk about it, but you’ve got to do something about it,” she said.
The two women have been politically active before. They door-knocked in Minnetonka during the fall, encouraging people to support DFL candidates.
Around 3 p.m. on Jan. 21, the throng of people at the National Mall began a slow march from the mall toward Pennsylvania Avenue. The side streets along the main route were also filled with crowds of people. People waved at the mass of humanity from the upper floors of buildings, Tanya Carlson said. Their route took the crowd by the White House by approximately 4:30 p.m.
“People were passionate on both sides. We wanted our voices to be heard,” Tanya Carlson said. “I definitely don’t regret going.”

Recording History
The rally and protest is considered one of the largest in the nation’s history.
The Scott County Historical Society (SCHS) is interested in gathering stories from local people who took part in the Women’s March, no matter which march location they attended. An informal gathering hosted by/at SCHS, Saturday, Feb. 25, 1 p.m., in order to allow Women’s March participants to share their experiences. The SCHS is also interested in the donation of related signage for its collection.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Scott County Historical Society is located at 235 Fuller Street So. in Shakopee, three blocks south of the intersection of County Road 101 and Fuller Street.  Visit the society online at www.scottcountyhistory.org or call 952-445-0378.