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WIMG honors Shirley Franklin, mayor of Atlanta.

Women in Municipal Government (WIMG), an NLC constituency group, held its second annual Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award ceremony during the Congress of Cities in Reno, Nev., earlier this month. Shirley Franklin, mayor of Atlanta, was honored for her outstanding achievements as a local elected official.

Franklin was selected for her "exemplary contributions in providing innovative leadership, economic development, programming for youth education and mentoring to others in her community."

Jay Powell, mayor of Camilla, Ga., accepted the WIMG award for Franklin.

"Shirley is probably the most unique person I've ever met," said Powell. "She is the most unpretentious person I've ever known. Mayor Franklin is a genuine and honest person who is not afraid to make tough decisions."

Other finalists for the award included Mayor Pat Evans, Piano, Texas; City Council Member Ann O'Hara Michalski, Dubuque, Iowa; Mayor Becky Miller, Carrollton, Texas; Mayor Saundra Gragg Naifeh, Edmond, Okla.; and Mayor Elaine M. Scruggs, Glendale, Ariz.

The award was presented at the WIMG Annual Membership Luncheon, "A Taste of Reno," where Catherine B. Reynolds, chairman and CEO of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation and the Loan to Learn program, was the keynote speaker.

Reynolds encouraged those in attendance to be "social entrepreneurs." According to her, social entrepreneurs are, "social activists who have a desire to solve social problems." She described how she achieved a successful career and left the business world to become a social entrepreneur.

Reynolds said social entrepreneurship takes place when using skills learned in careers to address social problems. She commented on the lessons she has learned during her career by saying, "information is power and inaction is worse then failure." And she compared being a woman with a family and career to being a circus juggler who attempts to spin numerous plates at the same time.

"A true leader keeps all of the plates spinning," Reynolds said.

Co-sponsoring the award were IMCA Retirement Corporation, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Comcast Corporation. The WIMG Leadership Award recognizes female municipal officials for implementing a program in local government that helps to improve a city or town's quality of life for its citizens, particularly if her leadership serves as a specific mentoring model for future women leaders. The award promotes increased representation of women in local government and is designed to encourage more women to run for elected office.

WIMG also held a joint reception with the Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials constituency group, which was sponsored by Freddie Mac, and co-sponsored a Leadership Training Institute session, "Do You Have The Will to Lead? Keys to Leadership Success."

WIMG also elected members of its Board of Directors for 2007.

Officers are: M. Margaret Bates, vice mayor, Lauderhill, Fla., (president); Edna Branch Jackson, mayor pro tem, Savannah, Ga., (first vice president); Erlinda Gonzales, councilwoman, Taos, N.M., (second vice president); Daisy Lynum, commissioner, Orlando, Fla., (communications officer); and Kay Senter, vice mayor, Morristown, Tenn., (immediate past president).

At large members are: Margaret Ann Bailey, vice mayor, Clarksburg, W.Va.; Mary Brown, councilwoman, Gary, Ind.; Susan Burgess, mayor pro tem, Charlotte, N.C.; Beverly Clyburn, councilwoman, Aiken, S.C.; Mildred Crump, council president, Newark, N.J.; Adrienne Foster, councilwoman, Roeland Park, Kan.; Lee Etta Hoskins, councilwoman, Berkeley, Miss.; Helen Kawagoe, city clerk, Carson, Calif.; Kathy Maness, councilmember, Lexington, Ky.; Jackie McHenry, mayor pro tem, Claremont, Calif.; Julie Ruiz-Raber, mayor pro tem, Carson, Calif.; Juanita Smith, vice mayor, Florida City, Fla.; Betsy Stockard, councilwoman, Decatur, Ill.; Joyce Streator, councilwoman, Pasadena, Calif.; Maxine Wilson, councilwoman, Tijeras, N.M.; and Vera Jean-White, council president, Harrisburg, Pa.

WIMG Advisory Council members are: Margaret Barrett-Simon, councilwoman, Jackson, Miss.; Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, Ariz.; and Marian B. Tasco, councilwoman and majority whip, Philadelphia.

Details: To learn more about membership opportunities in WIMG, contact NLC staff at (202) 626-3169.
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Title Annotation:Women in Municipal Government
Author:Morris, Eboni
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1U8NV
Date:Dec 25, 2006
Words:633
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