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WIMG presents leadership award program.

Elizabeth Edwards spoke about the importance of women's leadership at all levels and remarked that women must mentor one another to nurture leadership during the Women in Municipal Government Membership Luncheon at the Congress of Cities, which also included the launch of the new Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award.

"We have to work hard so that the paths of our daughters are easier than the paths that we took," Edwards said.

Because women are still in a period of building trust, they cannot afford self-indulgence.

"We need to know what your vision is; we need that expressed at every possible opportunity," Edwards said.

"You could hold that door open for yourself ... and maybe one day you will be in a position to have a building named after you," she said. "Or you could hold that door open for them, and maybe you'll hold the door for the first woman president, for the first woman chief justice, for the first woman chief of the joint chiefs of staff. If you do that for them, you do it for yourself and for all of us."

In addition to hearing from Edwards, the group launched its new Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award. There was a tie for the winner of the award--Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher, mayor, Dublin, Ohio, and Jennifer Stultz, mayor, Gastonia, N.C.

The award finalists included Dr. Beatrice Thompson, councilwoman, Anderson, S.C.; Hazelle Rogers, commissioner, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.; Ingrid Lindemann, former councilwoman, Aurora, Colo.; and Debbie Pilch, councilwoman, Greeley, Colo. The award is cosponsored by General Motors Corporation and the ICMA Retirement Corporation.

"WIMG has been planning this award program for the past few years, and we are very pleased to help raise awareness about the importance of women in government and the contributions that we can make to help revitalize our communities," said Leanna Mirsky, immediate past president of WIMG and commissioner, Lauderhill, Fla.

"In Charlotte, we honored all women in local government with this new award. We want to continue to recognize how women make a difference at this annual national event," stated Kay Senter, new WIMG president and councilwoman, Morristown, Tenn.

Honorary chairs for the award program are former WIMG presidents JoAnn Thomas, former councilwoman, Florence, Ala., and Mamye BaCote, delegate, Virginia General Assembly.

"The importance of WIMG cannot be overstated. Each year, our constituency group has grown and more women see the need for the networking and professional growth opportunities that we can provide," Thomas said.

"Since moving on from local office to the state assembly, I have gained a great deal from WIMG and NLC in terms of skills development and strategy building that I will take with me always," BaCote said.

WIMG worked with NLC this year with policy development relating to K-12 issues and plans to explore these issues further at its summer conference in Savannah, Ga., to be cohosted by Senter and Edna Branch Jackson, WIMG board member and councilwoman, Savannah. The meeting dates will soon be announced.

WIMG members held an election for its new Board members. Officers are: Kay Senter, councilwoman, Morristown, Tenn., (president); M. Margaret Bates, vice mayor, Lauderhill, Fla., (first vice president); Susan Shoemaker, councilwoman, Pontiac, Mich., (second vice president); Joyce Streator, councilwoman, Pasadena, Callif., (communications officer); and Leanna Mirsky, commissioner, Lauderhill, Fla., (immediate past president).

At large members are: Mary Ann Bailey, councilwoman, Clarksburg, W.Va.; Mary Brown, councilwoman, Gary, Ind.; Susan Burgess, councilwoman, Charlotte, N.C.; Beverly Clyburn, councilwoman, Aiken, S.C.; Adrienne Foster, councilwoman, Roeland Park, Kan.; Erlinda Gonzales, councilwoman, Taos, N.M.; Lee Etta Hoskins, councilwoman, Berkeley, Mo.; Edna Branch Jackson, mayor pro tem, Savannah, Ca.; Carol Johnson, mayor, District Heights, Md.; Helen Kawagoe, city clerk, Carson, Calif.; Daisy Lynum, mayor pro tern, Orlando, Fla.; Jackie McHenry, councilwoman, Claremont, Calif.; Juanita Smith, vice mayor, Florida City, Fla.; Betsy Stockard, councilwoman, Decatur, Ill.; Maxine Wilson, councilwoman, Tijeras, N.M.; and Vera Jean-White, councilwoman, Harrisburg, Pa.

WIMG Advisory Council members are: Margaret Barrett, councilwoman, Jackson, Miss.; Marie Lopez Rogers, vice mayor, Avondale, Ariz.; Maryann Mahaffey, council president, Detroit, Mich.; and Marian B. Tasco, councilwoman and majority whip, Philadelphia, Pa.

Details: For more information about WIMG and membership opportunities, call NLC staff at (202) 626-3169, or visit the constituency groups section of NLC's website at
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Title Annotation:Women in Municipal Government
Author:Gordon, Mary France; Turner, Laura
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 2, 2006
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