CLEVELAND – State Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) is one of the first winners of the Women in Politics Making a Difference Award, presented by the Women's Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The Women’s Legislative Network is an active, vibrant and respected organization dedicated to promoting the participation, empowerment, and leadership of women legislators. There are currently 1,809 women serving in state legislatures across the country. Every female legislator is a member of the network by virtue of her service, and the organization is governed by a bipartisan, regionally-balanced board of 15 directors.

To celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of female legislators across the country, the network created the Women in Politics Making a Difference Awards. The network will recognize 16 women over the course of the next year. The honorees are women who are making a difference in ways large and small: championing a landmark bill in their states, or helping a constituent in a time of need. Women are important actors in the laboratories of democracy that are state legislatures, and this campaign will make women’s contributions more visible.

Senator Williams was nominated for her leadership on criminal justice and economic development issues, and for her role as a past president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

Senator Williams advises young women who want to make a difference, “The world is much bigger than you think. There are so many opportunities out there for you to accomplish anything. Travel, expand your horizons, meet new people, and don’t settle too soon. Follow the big dreams you have. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something, you can do anything you put your mind to.”

The other women honored in the inaugural spring class of winners are State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Ill.), State Representative Valencia Stovall (D-Ga.), and State Representative Marcy Toepel (R-Pa.).

NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system. 

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