Voices From Inauguration Weekend: Who Is Going to Washington and Why | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Voices From Inauguration Weekend: Who Is Going to Washington and Why

Hear from Trump supporters eager to see the 45th president and women marching in opposition

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Take a look back at the presidential oath of office over the years with archive footage of presidents at their inaugurations. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017)

    Donald Trump will be sworn in as the country's 45th president on Friday and thousands of his supporters from across the country will attend to witness the historic event. They hope his presidency will be the start of an American revival that will bring greater prosperity to the country.

    The next day thousands of women, many dismayed by the president-elect's crude references to them and his embrace of policies they believe will hurt them and their families, will march in the capital. Many will wear pink hats with cat ears, in a reference to Trump's now famous statement that he could grab women "by the pussy."

    Hear from some of those planning to attend.

    Voices of men and women headed to D.C. for Trump's inauguration:

    David J. Pelto Jr.

    David Pelto Jr., a supporter of President-elect Donald Trump, will attend the inauguration with his two sons to see history being made.

    Pelto Jr., 35, will attend the inauguration with his two sons to witness history and what he called the return of "common sense" to the White House. For Pelto, who owns a truck and hauls oil, taxes are an enormous issue. At one point he owned several trucks until a drop in oil prices, and his business was further hurt by employment taxes he had to pay for drivers who worked for him, he said. "It costs on average 15 percent on top of an employee's wage," he said. "Depending on the state it can go much higher." Pelto, who lives in Arkansas, said that he hoped that entrepreneurs would benefit from the $1 trillion that President-elect Donald Trump has proposed spending on infrastructure. Pelto, who describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also thinks the country should be less resistant to fracking. The increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma, which has been linked to wastewater disposal wells, do worry him, but he believes fracking is safe elsewhere. As far as green energy, "Why don't we allow what we have now to continue working for us while we grow slowly into green energy?"


    Myke Shelby

    Myke Shelby speaks at the open house in honor of Rolling Thunder XXIX on May 28, 2016.
    Photo credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Myke Shelby, the owner of the San Diego Harley-Davidson dealership, which has about 150 employees, is in Washington as part of the Bikers for Trump. He flew to Washington, but was with other bikers protecting Donald Trump supporters headed to the DeploraBall from protesters. The event was named after Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment. "I'm a veteran. I fought for their right to protest. Don't get me wrong. This country was born in a revolutionary war," said Shelby, 72. "But they don't have the right to be violent and to threaten harm." For Shelby, regulations are a key issue — ones covering the environment and labor and those from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). "Regulations, they stifle business, but they catch us when we're not looking and we end up with big fines and big legal fees," he said. OSHA regulations might have made sense when the administration was created, but they no longer protect workers the way they were meant to, he said. "It's gotten to be an overbearing bureaucracy that forces us to do things that really don't make a lot of sense," he said. Shelby said he became a Trump supporter when he heard the President-elect talk about onerous regulations. "I said 'Hello,'" he said. "Hallelujah, somebody gets it because I don't think too many politicians ever understood that."


    John Hikel

    John Hikel, a former New Hampshire legislator, was an early supporter of President-elect Donald Trump.

    Hikel, 58, a former New Hampshire legislator and the longtime owner of an auto-repair business in Manchester, said he had supported Donald Trump since meeting him three months before the president-elect decided to run. "He had never been elected to an elected office before and he wasn't an attorney and that was my minimum," Hikel said. He said he wanted to see fewer regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the IRS, among agencies, particularly those governing clean air, which he said he thought were too stringent. "When Mr. Trump talked to me about trimming all of these agencies, I couldn't agree more," he said. Hikel said he was looking forward to a manufacturing revival under Trump, whom he viewed as a strong-willed leader. "More and more (customers) are coming into my shop not being able to spend $100 or $200 or $300 even to fix their vehicles," he said. "People are living paycheck to paycheck. I know they have for a long time but that's a problem that our government has handed down to us."


    Erin Sullivan

    Erin Sullivan, who voted for the first time in November, chose President-elect Donald Trump. Sullivan is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

    Sullivan, 20, a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, voted for the first time in November and she picked President-elect Donald Trump. The country needs a revival, and Trump's tax and immigration policies and his ideas for creating more jobs in America will help rebuild the country, Sullivan said. An example: his urging automobile manufacturers to build cars in the United States and not in Mexico or elsewhere, she said. "Trump is really focusing on the American dream, and looking at the people who worked really hard and sometimes don't necessarily have a voice," she said. As a young woman, she found his lewd comment about grabbing women to be disgusting, but thought everyone at some point was bound to say something stupid. In his favor, Trump hired women for spots in his campaign, among them SMU alumna Hope Hicks as his director of strategic communications, she said. Sullivan, who is from Wilton, Connecticut, will attend the inauguration with other students from SMU and will volunteer at the Texas State Society's Black Tie and Boots Ball.


    Austin Yang

    Austin Yang and his family thought Donald Trump would be a good choice for the Chinese. Then the president-elect threatened a trade war with China.

    Yang, 14, a student at La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, California, will attend the inauguration with a group of schoolmates. "It's such an important event in our American government," he said. Too young to vote, Yang nonetheless had a preferred candidate, Donald Trump. "We thought that Trump would be better toward the Chinese," said Yang, whose mother was born in China. Trump instead threatened a trade war with China over the value of its currency. "The exact opposite of what we thought would happen," Yang said. "I'm not very happy with it but I guess we can only deal with it now since he's our president." Yang, who expects to study medicine, remains hopeful that Trump will moderate his views once he meets with Chinese officials.


    Joseph Locke

    Joseph Locke, who organized volunteers to make phone calls on behalf of the president-elect, believes Donald Trump will help better prepare the U.S. military.

    Locke, 21, works in construction, attends Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts full time and will soon start classes at the Massachusetts state reserve police academy with the goal of joining a town police force. He believes that Trump will ensure the military is better prepared to defend the country and cut back spending to tackle the country's debt. "Seeing it from a businessman's perspective where you can see where you can make cuts and not have detriment to the country," he said. Locke ran a Trump campaign office in his hometown Easton, Massachusetts, where he organized volunteers making phone calls and as part of the Bridgewater State University's College Republicans, he reached out to college students. "He didn't seem just like a regular politician," he said of Trump. "I like that he actually says what he feels and what he thinks."


    The day after Trump's inauguration, thousands of women are expected on the Mall for the Women's March on Washington. 

    Voices of women headed to D.C. for the women's march:

    Krista Suh

    Krista Suh, one of the co-founders of the Pussyhat Project, will attend the Women's March on Washington as one of many protestors wearing the bright pink hats in a statement against Donald Trump.
    Photo credit: Courtesy Krista Suh

    When Krista Suh, one of the originators of "The Pussyhat Project" steps out for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, she will likely be surrounded by the handiwork of women from across the country: pink cat-eared hats, a rebuke to Donald Trump over his comment that he grabs women "by the pussy." Women from coast to coast knitted hats for themselves, friends and neighbors and sent them to Washington for other women to wear, even if they cannot be there. "But it’s about so much more than Trump using the word," Suh, 29, said. "It's about us reclaiming the word." She said that she had always been ambitious about the project, which she began with her friend Jayna Zweiman, but was taken aback by the feelings it sparked.

    "I just wasn’t prepared for the emotional depth of this project — the notes that accompanied the hats have made me cry and the people who have reached out to me saying that this project has lifted them out of the grief and depression," she said. "That I didn't anticipate and that's been really humbling." Suh, a screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles, knew the minute she heard about the Women's March that she would attend and quickly thought about what sign could she hold up or what could she wear. "Honestly I was willing to strip naked for this," she said. But then she considered Washington's colder temperatures and settled on a hat — the cat ears to give it a distinctive silhouette. Her knitting teacher named it with her comment: "It's the pussy power hat."


    Kica Matos

    Kica Matos, who works at non-profit, will attend the Women's March on Washington to show her son what is possible in a democracy.

    Matos, 50, plans join the Women’s March on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration to show her 11-year-old son what is possible in a democracy. A former deputy mayor in New Haven, Connecticut, she wants to impress on him that he should be an engaged citizen, that he can participate in peaceful protests and fight for what he believes in. Matos, the director of immigration at The Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C.,  said she feared that Trump's election would undermine advances made in racial justice, immigrant rights and women's rights. His campaign, with attacks on immigrants, Muslims and people of color, brought out the worst in many Americans, she said. Of her son, she said, "I want him to believe that we are better as Americans and that we should always strive for a world that respects others, regardless of difference," she said. "And to me this march, the idea of women from all walks of life coming together in solidarity and in support of a better, more just world is incredibly appealing."


    Laura Noe

    Laura Noe and her son, Hudson Wolfe, with goats in a tree on the road from Marrakesh to Essaouira in Morocco. Noe is attending the Women's March on Washington.

    Noe, 50, will participate in the Women's March on Washington, the first she has ever gone to, because she believes the country must re-think its values. Americans are becoming insulated and isolated, mean and judgmental and are losing the ability to empathize with others, she said. "It becomes an us and them, black and white, win lose," she said. After her divorce, she sold her home so that she and her son could travel and see first-hand how other people lived. "We're all about our stuff, buying and buying, consuming and gobbling up," she said. "I decided I wanted to spend my time and money on experiences." Noe, who owns a marketing and communications company in Branford, Connecticut, wrote about their trips to France, the Czech Republic, Morocco and Turkey in "Travels With My Son: Journeys of the Heart." She is now writing about her brother, Ed, who became homeless, was diagnosed with mental illness and after many years is getting treatment. They celebrated Thanksgiving together for the first time in 17 years.


    Chloe Wagner, Morenike Fabiyi

    Morenike Fabiyi, left, and Chloe Wagner, students at the Francis W. Parker High School in Chicago, organized a group of Illinois teenagers to attend the Women's March on Washington.

    Wagner and Fabiyi, both 16 and juniors at Francis W. Parker High School in Chicago, worked with the Illinois chapter of the Women's March on Washington and Chicago Women Take Action to put together a group of teenagers from their school to attend the march. They call their organization the Illinois Youth Chapter. Wagner is particularly concerned with LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights; Fabiyi is focused on immigration rights and education reform. Wagner said that after Trump's win, she at first felt powerless. "There wasn't anything happening for a few days and then all of a sudden we just came back full force and that's when we really starting getting passionate about bringing Illinois Youth to Washington," she said. Fabiyi said that she also felt lost but quickly realized that she needed to do something. "I can't just be mad and sad and complain about it all the time," she said. Wagner said one of the goals of the march was to tell the Trump administration that "we will not be walked over, and we will fight for all rights we are given under the Constitution." Said Fabiyi, "Just because I can't vote yet doesn't mean that my voice shouldn't be heard."


    Alexandra Goutnova

    Alexandra Goutnova will attend the inauguration with her schoolmates at La Jolla Country Day School in California and the Women's March on Washington.

    Goutnova, 15 and a student at La Jolla Country Day School in California, will be attending both the inauguration and the Women's March on Washington though she does not support President-elect Donald Trump. "I'm very passionate about women's rights," she said. Goutnova, who moved to the United States from Russia three years ago and who plans to attend law school, is bothered by comments Trump has made about women and by his denial of climate change. "It is a proven scientific fact that this is happening and this is happening right now," she said. "So the fact that our president is not willing to deal with it I think is absurd." Americans compared to Russians are more accepting, about LGBTQ rights, for example, she said. She said she is terrified that the United States will change. "Coming from Russia, I've seen the difference of how it can be in a bad way," she said. "And I'm just scared to see that happen to the U.S."