Women Legislators' Lobby

Pacesetters 2005

State Senator Billie Breaux

Billie Breaux is the Assistant Minority Whip in the Indiana Senate. She was first elected in 1990 and focuses her attention on health issues, education, welfare and unemployment. As a retired school teacher, she understands the importance of children in the community. She has fought tirelessly for children’s rights, women’s rights and civil rights.


State Senator Maggie Carlton

Maggie Carlton has served in the Nevada State Senate since 1999. A waitress by trade, Senator Carlton was awarded the Outstanding First-Term Legislator by the widely respected Nevada Women’s Lobby. She is the first labor activist to ever serve in the Nevada legislature and is the only legislator that clocks in for a living.


State Representative Fran Coleman

Fran Coleman serves parts of Denver and was first elected to office in Colorado in 1998. She holds a Masters in Telecommunications. Since 1969, Fran has been a community volunteer in RIF (Reading is Fundamental) and raised thousands of dollars for college scholarships for the economically disadvantaged.


State Senator Dori Connor

Dori Connor has served in the Delaware State Senate since 1997. She worked side by side with her late husband State Senator Robert Connor for 23 years in constituent and community service. She earned a music education degree and was a music educator in the Colonial School District for eleven years prior to serving in the legislature.


State Representative Pat Gardner

Pat Gardner is serving her third term, following 25 years as a health lobbyist in the halls of the Georgia General Assembly. As head of the Georgia Psychological Association, she brings great expertise in addressing mental health policy. She is a strong voice in the battle to secure equal rights for gay, lesbian, and transgendered Georgians.


State Representative Kathy Hawken

Kathy Hawken (right in photo) has served in the North Dakota legislature for ten years. Hawken has been named as a Fleming Fellow and an Eleanor Roosevelt Global Leadership Fellow. She recently represented NCSL at the Confederation of Parliamentarians of the Americas in Brazil. Before working at the state level, she served on the Fargo Board of Education.


State Representative Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson is in her second term in the Arkansas legislature and is serving as assistant speaker pro tem and majority whip. She is a member of the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee and the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. She is a high school teacher in World Politics and political science; a businesswoman; and was awarded an overseas fellowship through the Fulbright teaching program.


State Representative Marie Kirkley-Bey

Marie Kirkley-Bey is in her seventh term in the Connecticut legislature. She serves on the Appropriations, Legislative Management, and Screening Committees; and she is the first woman of color to hold the positions of deputy speaker and deputy majority leader. She was very proud to have played a major role in crafting Connecticut’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) legislation.


State Senator Becky Lourey

Becky has served in the Minnesota legislature since 1991 and currently chairs the Health & Family Security committee. Her work as a mother to 12 children (three deceased) — both by birth and adoption — prepared her for a long career as an activist and a legislator. In 2002, she ran for governor, but lost in the primary. She earned the Congressional Award “Angels in Adoption” in 1991, and recently stood by Cindy Sheehan’s side at Camp Casey, honoring their sons who were lost in the Iraq war.


State Representative Karen Morgan

Karen Morgan is currently serving her fourth term in the Utah House. She was elected assistant minority whip in 2002 and currently serves on the Education Appropriations Committee. She is the co-founder of the “Coalition for Quality Public Education” and is a strong advocate for reading in the early grades. She created a statewide Reading Clinic that provides individual assessment and tutoring for students, and professional development for educators.


State Representative Earline Parmon

Earline Parmon served the citizens of North Carolina on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners for 12 years; she then ran for her seat in the legislature in 2001. She currently sits on the Appropriations, Education, Health, Judiciary and Federal Relations and Trade Issues Committees. Previously, she served in the US Army Reserves; she is now an education consultant.


State Senator Pam Resor

Pam Resor is currently in her sixth year in the Massachusetts Senate and is the chair of the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. She has been a key supporter of such diverse issues as hazardous waste laws, strengthening the state’s stalking laws, advocating for reproductive rights for women, and fighting for adequate funding for education in the Commonwealth.


State Representative Diane Rosenbaum

Diane Rosenbaum is serving her fourth term in the Oregon House as the Democratic whip. As chair of the National Labor Caucus, she heads a network of hundreds of legislators who advance policies in the interest of America’s working families at the state level, and within the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She is vice-chair of NCSL’s Labor and Workforce Development Committee. She has also headed the Oregon Women’s Health and Wellness Alliance, a bi-partisan coalition of legislators.


State Senator Martha G. Scott

Martha G. Scott (left in photo) started her career serving the public in 1972 as a voter precinct captain; she finally made her way to the Michigan legislature in 1994. Currently, she is the lead sponsor of bills that would reform Michigan’s insurance laws, and she remains dedicated to bringing affordable automobile and home insurance to the citizens of Michigan, particularly in urban areas.


State Representative Pam Stephenson

Pam Stephenson is serving her second term in the Georgia legislature. She has worked tirelessly to help children, seniors and others in need — particularly in the critical field of health care — through her work as director of Georgia’s State Health Planning Agency. She co-chairs the Working Families Agenda Caucus in the General Assembly. She is a respected attorney, and has created two successful businesses.


State Senator Lena C. Taylor

Lena C. Taylor was elected on November 2, 2004 to fill the 4th District Senate seat vacated by Senator Gwen Moore who is now in Congress. Previously, Taylor won an April 2003 special election in the 18th Assembly District and served in the State Assembly from May 2003 until she was sworn-in as State Senator on January 3, 2005. Taylor worked as a Public Defender for more than two years and now provides free legal clinics and referrals through Taylor & Associates.


State Senator Vicki Walker

Vicki Walker has served in the Oregon legislature since 1998, and is the chair of the Education & Workforce Committee. Walker was recently appointed to two prominent organizations. The Council of State Governments-West has chosen her as vice chair of the Energy and Public Lands Committee for the 2005-2006 biennium. Her next challenge is to win the governor’s race in 2006.


State Senator LeAnna Washington

LeAnna Washington of Pennsylvania has worked in public service on behalf of seniors, women, families, and children across the City of Philadelphia. She works tirelessly with communities throughout the region to strengthen the economy and improve services. She has been in the state legislature as a representative since 1993 and has just won her senate seat during a special election earlier this year.

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