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Worthington goes to Washington!

Some Bucks County residents plan to join the tens of thousands of Americans descending on Washington, D.C., to celebrate President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday or to join a march in support of women and minorities the next day.

The specter of possible cold or snowy weather, extreme traffic congestion and a crowded scene at the National Mall does not faze Tyler Tomlinson, a member of the Bucks County Republican party’s executive committee. He will attend his first presidential inauguration Friday morning, with 10 other fellow Bucks County Republicans. Tomlinson received his tickets through Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, R-8, of Middletown.

Fitzpatrick’s office said each congressman received 198 tickets, including his or her own seat on the inaugural platform and the tickets were awarded to constituents on a first come, first served basis.

“It’s going to be history down there, and I wanted to be part of it,” said Tomlinson, who was an alternate delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. “I’m excited for his presidency to start.”

Tomlinson plans to drive to Washington and back to Bucks on Friday. The inauguration begins with a musical prelude at 10:30 a.m.; the ceremony starts an hour later. Trump is expected to be sworn into office at noon, followed by a parade from the Capitol Building to the White House.

Jim Worthington, owner of the Newtown Athletic Club and one of Trump’s biggest supporters in Bucks County, will be in the nation’s capital the day of the inauguration. After holding a celebration Tuesday night at the Rose Bank Winery in Newtown Township for approximately 350 local Trump campaign volunteers and their families, Worthington will make his way to D.C. Wednesday for a four-day visit.

“I’ve had a couple parties for the volunteers, but Tuesday is the big one to wrap it up,” said Worthington. “I’m looking forward to being down in Washington for the inauguration and parade. I’ll also be at one of the balls that night.”

A Trump-supporting delegate to the Republican National Convention, Worthington organized his own group of volunteers who worked throughout the 2016 campaign to elect Trump. Weeks before the election, he hosted Trump for a rally at the NAC that drew thousands. Worthington says his enthusiasm for Trump hasn’t wavered during a transition that had its share of controversy.

“He’s going to have an impact in Washington because it won’t be politics as usual with him,” Worthington said.

Worthington shrugged off accusations made by American intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the election, calling it a “non-event.” Trump’s unconventional approach to politics makes him the only person equipped to deal with foreign aggressors, Worthington said.

“Other countries don’t know how to read this guy,” said Worthington. “They thought they could keep pushing Obama around, but they don’t want to test Trump. Russia is the least of my worries.”

Worthington said he’s apprehensive about the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying a solid plan to replace it should be in place before the law is abolished. It wouldn’t bother him if the process took a little longer, he said, because he doesn’t want to see people using the ACA have their coverage stripped away.

The NAC owner said he also hopes to see Trump push policies that would help the less fortunate, particularly the poor, minorities and the middle class.

“That’s what he should be thinking about on Day 1,” Worthington said. “He needs to help Americans that need it most.”

 The fate of women, minorities and immigrants during Trump’s administration is the focus of a march on Washington, D.C., scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21. Several buses filled with Bucks County residents are headed to D.C. to make their voices heard.

RaeAnn Banker, of Buckingham, reserved her spot almost immediately after the Women’s March was announced on social media, days after the election. All 55 bus seats were quickly reserved, Banker said, and she has been in touch with other groups planning bus trips to the march.

“The bottom line is that many of us have the feeling that certain points of view will be ignored in the coming years,” said Banker. “We want our voices heard on Saturday and to remind the incoming administration not to forget about us. A lot of people don’t share his opinions, and we’re Americans, too.”

The march is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW near the National Museum of the American Indian. It may last until 5 p.m., organizers have said. At least 200,000 people are anticipated, organizers have told media outlets.

The event started on Facebook as a rally to support gender equality, but has since expanded to include supporters of immigrant rights, abortion rights, environmental policy reform and more. Partnered organizations include the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Amnesty International and GLAAD.

“The treatment of women in this past election has been horrendous,” said Tam St. Claire, president of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition. “Justice for women’s equality is at risk. Women’s access to affordable health care coverage and reproductive health care is in danger.”

St. Claire will be joined by four family members on a 52-person, sold-out bus. There’s concern across the board on a litany of issues, St. Claire said, and many are upset about the tone of the election and its impact on children.

“Women I’ve spoken to are angry about what’s going on,” said St. Claire. “The younger generation has realized they can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. They have become galvanized by this election.”

James Boyle: 215-345-3066; email: jjboyle@calkins.com; Twitter: @jamesboylejr

Voice of America article on People4Trump

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View the Voice of America Video which highlights People4Trump in Bucks County as the election rolls out.

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