By Vince Gerasole

(CBS) — Now one knew how many to expect, but last year 250,000 turned out in Grant Park for the Women’s March in Chicago.

It was just the beginning of a remarkable year in the fight for equality.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole spoke with people planning to attend this weekend’s march.

“I went to the Chicago march,” says Evanston’s Dana Pearl. “They were expecting 20,000 people — they got 250,000 people.”

Ultimately, Dana and her sister, Lisa, say, it’s a call to action for both liberals and conservatives.

“They are supposed to be balancing each other — not fighting with each other,” Lisa says.

Crews on Friday were already blocking off areas of Grant Park, where thousands are expected.

Susan Trieschmann traveled with several generations of her family to last year’s national march in D.C. Four hundred thousand gathered there.

“It was powerful and women need to continue to speak out,” she says.

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer and her four sisters traveled to Washington, too; she’ll be addressing the crowds in Chicago on Saturday.

Last year’s marches helped usher in the #MeToo movement that saw powerful men lose their jobs over sexual harassment. The theme this year is a march to the polls, urging women to take part in the political process for the issues they place top of mind.

“If we want to have a say about those things, we need to step up and run for office,” Gainer says.