This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans will descend on Washington, D.C., this week to celebrate and to protest the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, a quadrennial show of America's peaceful transfer of power that will also put on full display a country still sharply divided after a raucous campaign.
Trump's victory and assumption of the presidency will be met with celebrations by his supporters on Friday as he takes the oath of office. The next day, those upset with Trump's ascendancy will join in a women's march on the streets of Washington.
Here's a look at a few Utahns who will join the masses at each event.
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Julie Blaney, Payson going for the inauguration
Julie Blaney has been on the hunt for years for a leader who isn't a career politician, who doesn't just tell people what they want to hear and will act, not just promise, to solve America's problems.
She found her dream in Donald Trump.
"We've not seen a fix from either party. Both parties have failed us," said Blaney, an author who recently published the book, "The Devil in the Constitution and How to Kick Him Out." "I've been looking for an outsider. And Donald Trump fits the bill."
It wasn't a popular thing in Utah initially to back Trump, Blaney says. Most Utahns favored other GOP candidates. Trump grabbed only 14 percent of the GOP caucus vote, finishing third.
"I was probably the only fan in Utah for a while," said Blaney. "For a while it was scary to tell people I was supporting him."
Having ridden the Trump train from the start, Blaney is stoked to be there in person, to watch the president-elect place his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. She had already bought a plane ticket before Election Day, sensing that she could "feel the Earth moving."
"I was absolutely certain that he was not only going to win but it was going to be a landslide," she said.
Finally, Blaney adds, America will have a president who will put the country back on the right path.
"I have complete faith that he is free of the chains that have held us to the drudgery for so many years," she said. "He may be the greatest president since Washington."
Sarita Gaytan, Salt Lake City going for the women's march
With each new tally of electoral votes flashing across the television screen on election night, Sarita Gaytan grew more fearful.
"There was just a sense of awe and disappointment, sadness and then later anger," she said, reflecting on Trump's win in November.
Gaytan, 42, worried about what the election would mean for her parents, both immigrants. She worried about herself, a Latina. But mostly, she worried about her students at the University of Utah, plenty of who, she says, are undocumented.
"What can I do on a personal level to ensure that my students aren't deported?" Gaytan asked.
That question led the gender studies and sociology professor to buy a plane ticket to Washington, D.C., to join the women's march on Jan. 21. It may not be the answer, she acknowledged, but it felt like a step toward figuring out what to do if the promises Trump made during his campaign to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country, to deport immigrants here illegally are fulfilled.
"I've never done anything like this in my entire life," she said. "I felt compelled. There was something burning inside of me. I had to do it. Not doing it was not a choice."
Gaytan will be marching, she says, primarily to represent women of color, a group she wants to guarantee is not left out of the conversation.
Brad Talk, Provo going for the inauguration
Brad Talk can understand why his vote for Trump might not make sense to some people. Talk is a millennial and a minority both of which, he says, would be expected to put him strongly in the Democrats' camp.
"I guess I'm not your typical voter," he says with a laugh.
A member of the Navajo Tribe and previously politically unaffiliated, Talk registered as a Republican last year because of his fervor for Trump, whom he rallied for in Nevada, paraded for in Colorado and campaigned for in Utah.
"He just brought something new," said the 27-year-old Provo resident. "The expectation that he's going to shake up Washington, D.C., was probably my primary motivating factor."
Talk supports Trump's plans to reform immigration and repeal Obamacare. He anticipates most, though, the boost Trump could give the U.S. economy.
Because he works in tech support "not what I went to school for" and hopes to go to graduate school someday, Talk says financial stability is important to him and his future. He believes other people his age, who also grew up during a recession, feel much the same.
"We're just looking for a shot," he said. "We just want an opportunity to go out and use our skills and make money and start families."
Talk looks forward to seeing firsthand the president-elect be inaugurated. He doesn't have a ticket but will be there, standing with his sister on the National Mall and watching with pride.
Dana Robinson, South Jordan going for the women's march
Dana Robinson wasn't political.
That is, until she was swept up into the hope and change movement of Barack Obama and believed America could finally shed its racial divisiveness and move forward. As Obama's time in the Oval Office wound to a close, Robinson hitched her support to Sen. Bernie Sanders' White House run and was disappointed when he lost.
But Donald Trump's ascendancy to the presidency really threw Robinson for a loop, then set her into action.
"I saw the whole racial divide and thought we're going to end this," says the 55-year-old Robinson. "I was shocked during the whole Trump thing that it was bigger than ever."
She was "upset and sad" that there was still such overt racism, that "these people really exist still."
So two days after Trump's election, Robinson and one of her daughters, Michelle Holt, booked airfare and a hotel to attend the women's march. She had to do something.
"I never thought about getting so involved in politics as I am now," she said.
A passionate supporter of Planned Parenthood and gay rights efforts, Robinson, who manages a retail store in South Jordan, says she is tired of discrimination in all its forms and hopes for a future where the country yearns to come together.
The women's march, she says, could be the beginning of a large movement against the kind of rhetoric that dominated the 2016 presidential election.
"It needs to start somewhere, and I think it won't end," she said. "This is the start of something that won't end."
Jared Dallin, Orem going for the inauguration
In 2012, Jared Dallin drove to Kansas with his dad, cousin and uncle. In the middle of a mundane landscape as the car hummed along, one of the men turned to him and predicted: "In four years, just watch, Donald Trump will be our next president."
Dallin pulled out his phone and put in a calendar reminder for Nov. 9, 2016, the day after the election. He planned to call and prove him wrong.
"I kind of ate crow with that," Dallin, now 28, said with a laugh as he reflected back on the episode. "But I did it very happily."
At the time of the road trip, Dallin had just completed an internship on Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. When the former Massachusetts governor lost, Dallin was "obviously heartbroken."
But he easily found a replacement for Romney in Trump this past year.
"I'm so hopeful, more hopeful than I've been in a really long time," Dallin said about the election result.
Dallin, who has owned a small fireworks company since 2014, appreciates that Trump is a businessman and wants to keep jobs in the country.
He'll be attending the inauguration with high hopes for economic improvements which Dallin said he's already seen with Trump's influence on Carrier and Ford, both planning expansions to manufacturing plants in the United States.
Trump has accomplished that, Dallin said, and "he's not even our president yet."
Psarah Johnson, Salt Lake City going for the women's march
Psarah Johnson anticipates that she'll get a few "strange looks" as she arrives at the women's march in her electric wheelchair. But it won't bother her much.
Johnson was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as a baby which can make walking and standing for long periods painful. Now 40 years old, the sidelong glances and the curious eyes are nothing new for her.
Besides, Johnson says, it gets at the reason why she's going: to lobby for people with disabilities and to rally against Trump's calls to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
"I've had to fight most of my life to keep my health insurance," she said.
Johnson fears overturning Obamacare would deprive her of the coverage she gained under the law, despite having a pre-existing condition. Before the health care law, she says, life was a series of visits to the collections office because of endless medical bills.
"And I certainly don't think I'm the most dire case," she said.
Johnson also admonishes Trump for mocking a reporter with a disability during his campaign. She says the president-elect views the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as "an unnecessary burden."
During the march, Johnson will volunteer at an ADA tent to give out hand and foot warmers. But she's also determined to move forward with the anticipated 200,000 people at the event.
"One thing that can be very effective for women," she said, "is realizing that even with a disability we need to claim our independence."
This story was informed by sources in the Utah Public Insight Network. To become a news source for The Salt Lake Tribune, go to sltrib.com/upin.
Twitter: @CourtneyLTanner, @thomaswburr
The 45th president to take office
When • Friday, in Washington, D.C.; oath of office administered at 10 a.m. MST, following by the inaugural address
Where • The Capitol, overlooking the National Mall
O Will you be in Washington for the inauguration? We want to talk to you. Visit: bit.ly/TribuneDC
Below • The Washington Monument stands sentinel on the National Mall.
Inside • More coverage of events, A4, A10-11, A13, A17