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Locals leave for D.C. as others boycott inauguration

Rep. Louise Slaughter

Add local Congresswoman Louise Slaughter to the list of Democrats not attending Friday’s presidential inauguration of Republican Donald Trump.

The Rochester-area Democrat issued a statement Tuesday saying it was not an easy decision, but influenced by Trump's recent comments about Civil Rights icon, Congressman John Lewis.

"Congressman John Lewis and I came to Congress at the same time and he has become like a brother to me. He came to Rochester late last year and visited the convent where nuns from Rochester saved his life on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. For all that he’s stood for all these years, I’m happy to stand with him. As tough as this decision is, I was sent to Washington to get things done, which is why I will be working with the president-elect in the years ahead to move my district and our nation forward,” said Slaughter. 

The number of House Democrats planning to boycott Trump's inauguration grew to about 50 on Tuesday in a protest of his policies and his criticism of Lewis. Lewis announced last week that he would skip Trump's swearing in, saying that he did not view Trump as a legitimate president. 

Slaughter will be in Washington during Friday’s inauguration and will attend a bipartisan Congressional lunch with the President-elect later that day.

Hundreds of Western New Yorkers are expected to travel to the nation’s capital, both for the inauguration and also for a Women’s March on Washington the following day. Among them, about 30 boarded buses Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the AAA of Western and Central New York in Amherst, looking forward to viewing the inauguration from the standing room area and sightseeing in the nation's capital. The AAA said the trip is "an opportunity to be part of United States history."

A number of local groups are expected to protest the inauguration this weekend in Buffalo. Among them are anti-racism, anti-violence, faith, legal, peace, union and women's groups.

Dr. Jill Stein, 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, will be speaking at several events and actions planned in Washington. Several of Stein’s appearances will be at events she says are "aimed at building unity amongst radical and progressive social movements and independent electoral parties."