COLUMBUS – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) last week presented Ohio Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) with a “Women in Politics Making a Difference” award from the Women's Legislative Network, an arm of the NCSL, at a luncheon held at the NCSL summit in Chicago. 

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.

“Nearly 100 years ago, women in America earned the right to vote. Today, strong women legislators throughout the country act as level-headed leaders, consistently breaking through legislative gridlock in times of heated partisan debate,” said Senator Williams. “Women continue to make a lasting impact throughout the country by helping to pass policy that impacts families in a positive way.”

The award was presented by Tennessee State Representative Brenda Gilmore, who is now Chairwoman of Women's Legislative Network.

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