Dozens take to Paepcke Park in Aspen for the third annual women’s march
January 19, 2019
Beginning at the top of Aspen Mountain, organizer Megan Reilly called it the "highest elevation march" in the country. And while the local version of the now international women's march did include a bit of skiing, it mostly held to the same ideals as the rest of the hundreds of rallies held Saturday across the United States.
"Two years ago there was this incredible march. Millions of women across the nation marched for women's issues, and it continues, which is wonderful," said Aspen city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Ann Mullins. "We need to stay united as women, no matter what issues may tend to divide us. We need to stay together as women to push these agendas."
Aspen took part in the first women's march, held in 2017, as well as last year's. Hosted by Pitkin County Democrats, the third annual march began with the ski session on Aspen Mountain before roughly 60 people gathered at Paepcke Park to listen to a handful of speakers, including Mullins.
From there it was a short march back into the downtown core, participants chanting and waving signs in support of women's issues along the way.
The first march in 2017 included hundreds of people here in Aspen. Although the numbers have dropped significantly over the past two years, those who talked Saturday at Paepcke feel the results are only now beginning to be seen.
"The second year we lost a little bit of energy," Mullins said, "and I'm thinking we lost a little bit of energy because we didn't see direct results from that really powerful statement we had made the first year. But now, in the third year, we can really celebrate."
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More than once were the recent election results brought up during Saturday's march, an election that was considered historically significant for women across the country.
"I am living proof that marches matter. There are folks out there that say marches don't do anything but make a little bit of noise for a day," said Julie McCluskie, who in November was elected as the new state representative for Colorado House District 61, which includes Aspen. "Today I'm an elected official in this state, ready to make a difference for all of you. What I am most proud about is there are 34 women in your state house. We are the majority of representatives in Colorado. And in November, more than 2,000 women were elected to state legislatures across the nation."
Other speakers Saturday at Paepcke included new Pitkin County Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury, her predecessor Rachel Richards, novelist Linda Lafferty and Betty Wallach of Pitkin County Democrats.
McNicholas Kury, who ran unopposed, mentioned how important it was to her to continue to have a woman serving as county commissioner and how she believes the recent election results are only a start for women in politics.
"I don't like to think of last year as a wave of women, as waves dissipate, grow calm and become like glass," McNicholas Kury said. "But we are daily shattering that glass. I like to think of it as a tide, strong and enduring, that will return again and again and again. And this is only the beginning."