Women Legislators' Lobby

Pacesetters 2009

Congresswoman Judy Chu, California-32

Dr. Judy Chu was elected to represent California’s 32nd Congressional District in July 2009. She holds a Ph.D in psychology and worked as a community college professor for 20 years. She has served in elected office for nearly 25 years, including positions in the city council, state legislature and the Board of Equalization. A dedicated progressive throughout her time in state office, she fought to expand health insurance for children, close tax loopholes for offshore corporations, and protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens. Chu consistently earned perfect approval ratings from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California for her record in the Assembly on reproductive rights and women’s health. Chu is known for her skill at building coalitions that represent her community’s rich ethnic diversity. As Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ successor, she will continue to champion progressive policies.

Representative Trisha Beck, Utah

In 1985, Trisha became a Capitol Hill Citizen Advocate and quickly became a powerful advocator of education, healthcare, benefits for those with disabilities and crime prevention. In 1997, Governor Leavitt appointed Trisha to take a seat representing a portion of Sandy and a part of unincorporated Salt Lake County in the Utah State Legislature. Through her third term, which began in 2008, she has served on many committees including, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Oversight, and Economic and Community Development Appropriations. She also took part in the Coalition for a Quality Education, the Safe Kids Coalition, and the Council for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs and Their Families.

Representative Lois Delmore, North Dakota

Rep. Lois Delmore is completing her eighth session in the North Dakota House of Representatives and belongs to the Judiciary and Transportation legislative committees. She has successfully introduced and passed legislation on education, domestic violence, open records, human trafficking and other judicial issues. Rep. Delmore also serves on the North Dakota Lottery Commission, the Higher Education Round Table and the Supreme Court Future Planning Commission. She also teaches English at Red River High School in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Senator Vivian Davis Figures, Alabama

Sen. Figures is a state senator from Alabama, as well as the CEO of the Figures Legacy Education Foundation. Figures began her political career in 1984 as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, a position she has held for twenty years. In 1993, Ms. Figures served a four-year term on the Mobile City Council, and then was elected to serve in her husband’s State Senate seat following his untimely death. The victory made her the first African-American woman to be elected to the Senate from Mobile County and the second one in the state of Alabama. Outside of public service, Figures has organized the Mobile County Foster Grandparents Program, the Homeless Coalition of Mobile, the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program of Metropolitan Mobile, and many other worthwhile endeavors.

Representative Delia Garcia, Kansas

Rep. Delia Garcia is the first ever Latina woman to be elected to the Kansas Legislature, and, at 27, was the youngest female elected to the Kansas Legislature in 2004. In that same year, in the midst of her campaign, Rep. Garcia completed her Masters Degree in Political Science from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She has traveled to Turkey, Korea, and Kenya to train women about democracy and community organizing and has been recognized for her extensive public service and influence. Rep. Garcia annually introduces legislation related to affordable and accessible health care and is involved in many advisory boards including those involving civil rights, Hispanic leadership and women rights.

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, New York

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton served as Chief of Staff to her predecessor for fourteen years before being sworn in herself. She was a long-time member of the steering committee of the Tompkins County Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and did local fundraising for Freeze Voter in 1986. She worked with Justice for All, a local group that fought cuts to Medicare and Social Security and co-founded the Coalition for Community Unity in 1998 to combat hate groups. Assemblywoman Lifton is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries & Education Technology and is a member of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.

Senator Mee Moua, Minnesota

State Senator Mee Moua was the nation’s first Hmong American elected to a state legislature in 2002. She chairs the Senate Committee on Judiciary and is a member of the Tax Committee, Public Safety Budget Division, and the Transportation Budget and Policy Committee. Senator Moua also chairs the Housing and Children and Youth Caucus. In addition to being a member of the Senate, Senator Moua is an attorney. She has degrees from Brown University, a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Texas-Austin, and her law degree from the University of Minnesota. Born in Laos, Senator Moua immigrated to the U.S. in 1978 and currently lives in St. Paul.

Representative Amy Rice, Rhode Island

In addition to serving in the state legislature since 2005, Rep. Rice works as an attorney with her own practice. She has also pursued her love for the environment and in particular, Aquidneck Island, through membership in a variety of organizations including the Sierra Club, Save the Bay and the Potter League of Animals. Her political history includes service on the Glen Farm Authority, the Economic Development committee of the Portsmouth Town Council and the American Council for Young Political Leaders. The committees she serves on include Judiciary, Environment, and Airport Commission.

Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Minnesota

Senator Patricia Torres Ray made history by becoming the first Latina elected to the Minnesota State Senate. She is currently serving her first term as a Majority Whip. Torres Ray is the Vice Chair of the Health, Housing and Family Security Committee and serves on the K-12 Education Policy and Budget Committee; the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division and was appointed to Chair the newly formed Parks and Trails subcommittee this spring. Her areas of interest include education, health care, and economic equality.

Representative Kathy Webb, Arkansas

Representative Kathy Webb was elected to represent mid-town Little Rock in 2006. She now serves as the vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus. She has taken the lead in Arkansas on issues including sustainable design, global warming, and economic and tax policy. Webb received the Rising Champion Award from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Pioneer Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners, Elected Public Official of the Year from the Sierra Club, Civic Award from Arkansas AIDS Foundation, Elected Public Official of the Year from the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and Distinguished Legislator Award from the Arkansas Municipal League. Rep. Webb co-owns an Asian restaurant In Little Rock with her partner.

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