Utica, N.Y. - Women around the country joined forces on Saturday in cities nationwide to rally in before this year's election to urge other women to get out there and vote.
A Women's March in Utica was organized by Indivisible Mohawk Valley, YWCA Mohawk Valley, Mohawk Valley Latino Association, local union 1199 SEIU, and Citizen Action of Central New York.
The crowd gathered at Oneida Square in Utica and then marched a short distance to Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute where a number of speakers spoke.
Jill Farnum-Us with Indivisible Mohawk Valley says this march is an important one just 17 days before this year's election, "We’re doing this today because people need to be energized to vote and to remember that democracy is not a spectator sport, you have to participate and that our voices matter, our voices matter."
Utica Council Council Member Celeste Friend was also in attendance. Friend believes women will decide this year's election, "And you know it’s 100 years into suffrage and women have not really come into their full power as equal full citizens in this democracy so I think it’s really important that we really emphasize the ability for women to turn an election. Women are going to turn out in huge numbers."
Farnum-Us says she believes that women are going to decide this presidential election. She says back in 2016, during the last presidential election, less than 50% of registered women voters came out to vote and she believes with rallies like this all across the country, the hope is to bring that number up near 70%, "Women....vote. This has been four years coming. On November 9, 2016 we said we've got to do something about this, we were complacent."
Farnum-Us believes this year will be different, "We're voting in numbers too big to ignore."
Friends says there's an important message for everyone out there that was not only at this rally, but for the many more who weren't, "I think it’s really important that everybody hear that women’s voices are loud and powerful and that we have the ability to turn an election."