Houstonians head north for Women's March on Washington

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- As preparations are underway in Washington, D.C. to inaugurate the nation's 45th president, Gracie Gavnar is preparing for a different type of trip to the nation's capital.

"I think it's more to just send a message, that there are many of us who are concerned, many, many of us who are concerned and watching," she said.

Cavnar, a long time Democrat, the founder of Recipe for Success Foundation and a well-known Houston philanthropist, will be among the thousands of Texas women going to the nation's capital for the Women's March on Washington.

The event is set for the day after the inauguration, and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of women, many of whom are not regular community activists.

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"Roughly 80 percent are people who have never been politically active in their lives. They feel like they absolutely have to, this is a do or die situation," said Lauren Summerville, a leader in the Houston area for the younger generation of women going to the march.

Summerville says many marchers were shocked when Hillary Clinton lost in her campaign to become the first female president. There was a groundswell of desire to become active, and the march is filling some of that void.

"I'm 64, almost 65. I was there in the 60's when we marched for equal rights," quipped Cavnar, who allowed that she hasn't marched much in recent years. Still, Cavnar has her tennis shoes, water bottles and other marching equipment ready.

Not every woman in Washington, D.C. will be heading to the march. Jessica Colon, a Houston-based Republican consultant, plans on turning heads at the Black Tie and Boots gala the day before the inauguration instead. She says the march isn't as inclusive as it appears.

"If this is a million women march of liberal pro-choice women, okay, they should call it what it is," said Colon. "If not, all women should be included to participate in a march that represents all women. This appears to be an agenda-driven march, that only one point of view is going to be accepted, and women who support that one point can march."

Besides the Washington D.C. march, companion events are being held across the country. In Houston, Robin Paoli began organizing a march just days ago. There are now more than 10,000 RSVPs on Facebook.

"If a real estate developer can ride down the escalator and declare for the presidency, I can start walking toward city hall and organize this," she said.
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