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National March To Protest Trump Inauguration Spurs Utah Women To Action

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Kat Kellermeyer, left, and Kate Kelly, right, are co-organizing the Utah chapter of the Women's March on Washington as well as a local Women's March on the Utah State Capitol for Jan. 23.

A grassroots Facebook group called the Women’s March on Washington sprung up in the days following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.  

The idea was to descend on the nation’s capital to protest the often sexist and demeaning comments about women and minorities that emerged during the campaign.

 

The event quickly gained traction online, with local Facebook pages created for all 50 states, including the Beehive State.

 

Local civil rights attorney Kate Kelly is a co-organizer of the Utah chapter, which has attracted 500 RSVPs. Kelly is best known for her work as the founder of Ordain Women.

 

“Some of people coming from Utah were planning on going to the inauguration of Hillary Clinton, and already had plane tickets and hotels reserved in anticipation of the first female president, and so this is a much different occasion,” she says, laughing.

 

Still, Kelly says, she’s been surprised by the types of people reaching out to her on Facebook to express interest.

 

“And it’s not just the usual suspects," she says. "It’s people who’ve never been to a march or rally before; it’s people who are Republicans; it’s people who are Democrats; it’s women who are not OK with what’s being said about women."

 

Kelly is also planning a march for the first day of the Utah legislative session on Jan. 23 to advocate for women’s rights and include those who cannot afford to travel to the larger D.C. protest.

 

Kat Kellermeyer, a first-time activist and retail manager by day, is co-organizing these events with Kelly under the new umbrella Facebook group Utah Women Unite.

 

"I feel like if we get that word out there, if we get people passionate and keep them passionate for the next two years, we’re going to see some changes in 2017,” says Kellermeyer. “I really hope so, because Utah deserves some change.”

 

The group plans to finalize a legislative agenda next month to fight for specific policy changes in Utah, hoping to turn post-election angst into action.

 

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