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Jefferson County residents participate in second annual Women’s March

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By Deborah Swearingen

Amidst a government shutdown, women, men and children from Jefferson County and across Colorado gathered Saturday for the second Women’s March in downtown Denver.

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Though tens of thousands attended this year’s event, it was smaller than last year’s, which occurred the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Both years, the Denver event coincided with sister marches across the state and country.

This year’s theme for marches across the United States was “March to the Polls,” encouraging people to make their voices heard in the voting booth. However, the theme for the march in Denver was “Hear My Truth,” according to Lisa Cutter, who helped organize the march. Many speakers came on stage to share their personal stories with the crowd.

Cutter is a longtime Jefferson County resident and is challenging Republican Tim Leonard for the House District 25 seat in 2018. The district covers much of Jefferson County, including Evergreen, Conifer, Morrison and parts of Littleton.

“We are intentionally not aligning with protests,” she said. “We wish to be positive and proactive in moving forward, empowering and encouraging people to step up and take back their government.”

Several days after the march, Cutter felt positive about the turnout and the energy of Saturday’s event, which felt different from the inaugural march in 2017.

“Last year, the march was pretty reactive,” she said. “People were mad and scared. ... This year, we tried to be very intentional in our messaging and how we wanted to move forward.”

Organizers hoped the march would help people harness their passion and energy into action.

Marchers packed Denver’s Civic Center Park for a 1-mile walk through downtown followed by a rally with speakers and artists. Many carried signs, sharing messages held close to their hearts. Some read “Smash the patriarchy,” while others said “Women’s rights are human rights,” or simply “Vote.”

Prior to the event’s start, Cheryl Cheney, chair of the Jeffco Democrats, gathered near the park with a group of marchers from across the county.

Last year, she was in San Francisco and unable to attend the march in Denver. For Cheney, it’s inspiring to see the event’s longevity.

“So many times when we see marches or events, it’s kind of a one-and-done thing,” she said. “And so to see the continuity and the survival over a year of the movement to really improve things for women in the country, I think is fantastic.

“ … I felt it was important to be out here to support that,” Cheney added.

Among other things, Cheney, who has been active with the Jeffco Dems since 2000, supports health care and equal pay for equal work. She also aims to elect well-qualified women to positions of power.

Overall, she called last weekend’s event “just amazing and inspiring.”

“It’s great to see so many people, and especially so many men, out here supporting equality for women.”

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter@djswearingen.