Chicago Women’s March a rallying cry to vote

CHICAGO -- It has been called the ‘pink wave.'

After the 2016 election, ordinary women became activists, and this year, those activists are becoming candidates.

Andrea Raila, a candidate for Cook County Assessor, was inspired by 2017's Women’s March to run for public office. She’s a first-time candidate trying to become the Cook County Assessor.

"We need to inspire each other and support each other in spite of the odds," she said.

All across the country – and here in Illinois--women are deciding to run for office.

According to the Center for American Women and Politics,  only 35 percent of Illinois elected officials are women.

"Representation is everything," said Delia Ramirez, a candidate for Illinois Statehouse.

Humboldt Park's Ramirez says her goal is to get that number to 50 percent.

"I’m running because I think we need more women in leadership that is rooted in the community," she said.

At this year’s Women’s March, many carried signs declaring “strong women” and “grab ‘em by the polls." Each carried a specific message, but there was one overriding theme: the huge crowd’s energy and the enthusiasm must translate to elections.

"We’re working to get people out to vote too, and of course that’s the only way it’s really going to change," said Janet Reilly, an attendee. "But this helps."