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At today’s Louisville Women’s Rally, hundreds gathered to mark the the one year anniversary of the Women’s Marches that followed President Donald Trump’s inauguration. And the overwhelming sentiment was taking action — either by voting or running for office.

The event was sponsored by several organizations including Louisville Democrats, the Fairness Campaign, The Center for Women and Families and Indivisible Kentucky.

Many attendees marched with handmade rally signs. While there were a variety of messages represented, variations of two phrases could be seen over and over again: “Power to the Polls” and “March Now, Vote Later.”

Katie Lutz held a poster that read “Grab ’em by the Midterms” over the crowd. She said she hoped more women would feel more empowered in the upcoming year to get involved in politics — both by voting at the polls and by running for office.

“I think it is important to know that midterms are just as important as presidential elections, if not more so, because they have more impact on local issues and things affect us here,” Lutz said. “Also, the only way that we are going to make a significant difference in Congress is if we take back the House, take back the Senate and those are the things that we need to target and understand.”

Ashlie Stevens | wfpl.org

Scene from the Louisville Women’s March.

Mayor Greg Fischer attended the event; he said women are severely underrepresented in public office.

“And it should be 50/50,” Fischer said. “So this event here today, they are registering a lot of people to vote, increasing the awareness to run for office, so I think the more balanced that we get in political life from all perspectives, all genders, all orientations, that represents what the American experiment is all about.”

Some attendees, like Sharon Fleck of Indivisible Kentucky, said the groundwork for increasing the representation and their allies in state politics has already been laid.

“I absolutely believe this has been a year of action and will continue to be in 2018,” Fleck said. “We have identified candidates to run for races in almost every seat in the state of Kentucky and that shows that there has been a lot of action.”

And on the local level, candidates like Marcella Eubank have become inspired over the last year to run for political office for the first time. Eubank is an accountant who is running for the 15th District seat on Louisville’s Metro Council.

“Because the folks that are already in positions of leadership don’t have our best interests, we have to step up,” Eubank said. “Just as women have always stepped up. We are the nurturers, we birth the generations. So, to me, it’s almost coming naturally — it sometimes has to take the setbacks in order to reach the place where we belong.”

 

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.