The third annual Cortez Women’s March for Unity will take place Jan. 19 at Cortez City Park at 10 a.m.
Speakers include Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek, former candidate for Montezuma County Board of Commissioners M.B. McAfee, Ute Mountain Ute educator Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk and Annika Lewis. Rebecca Busic will be the master of ceremonies.
After the speeches, the march will take place around City Park. There will be an after-party at the People’s Place, 215 E. Main St. with hot drinks, sandwiches, chili and refreshments.
“The march has been well attended, and it shows there is a heightened interest in the political system,” Sheek said. “Our greatest impact is participating at the local level.”
She notes that women serve on the Cortez City Council, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council, Mancos and Dolores town boards, and other local boards.
The county commission has been all men for decades, but this year McAfee, came within 400 votes of being elected. Sheek attributed the high voter turnout to her “well-run campaign” and supporters.
The march’s theme of “We’ve got 2020 Vision” refers to the momentum of 117 women being elected or appointed to Congress in the midterm elections and to the opportunities for the 2020 general election. The march also celebrates 100 years of women having the vote.
But the event is not just for women, says organizer Mary Dodd.
“It is a women-led movement that brings together people of all genders, ages, races, culture, ability-status and backgrounds to peacefully and respectfully affirm our shared humanity,” she said.
In the event of snow or rain, the march will go on, but the speakers will speak at the after-party.