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Women as Office Holders

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Part Two of the Educational Forum Series, The Changing Faces of Power: Women in Politics, was held on February 12, 2008 and hosted by the League of Women Voters and Sewall-Belmont House & Museum.

Nancy Tate

Executive Director, LWV

Eleanor Clift

Robin Carnahan
Secretary of State of Missouri

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
President, Baltimore City Council

Jeannemarie Devolites Davis
Former Virginia State Senator

Question and Answer

About the Participants

Series Moderator: Eleanor Clift
Eleanor Clift is a contributing editor to Newsweek magazine where she reports on the White House, presidential politics, and a variety of national issues.  Clift is a regular panelist on the nationally syndicated show, The McLaughlin Group, and a political analyst for the Fox News Network and co-author of two books: War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics (1996), and Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling (2000), and author of 2003’s Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment, which she researched in part at the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum.

Robin Carnahan, Secretary of State of Missouri
Robin Carnahan was sworn in as Missouri’s 38th Secretary of State in January 2005. Since taking office, Secretary Carnahan has focused on improving customer service, cutting red-tape for Missouri businesses, protecting consumers and ensuring that elections are accessible, fair and free of fraud. Carnahan has ascended quickly as one of Missouri and our nation’s most effective public servants. In 2005 the Aspen Institute, one of the nation’s leading non-partisan political think tanks, identified Carnahan as a “rising star” in American politics and selected her to be among a nationwide group of only 20 Rodel Fellows chosen for their ability to work across party lines to get things done. Prior to being elected, Carnahan had a successful career in business and law. Today, in addition to her duties as Secretary of State, Carnahan continues to manage her family’s 900 acre farm and Angus cattle operation outside of Rolla.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, President, Baltimore City Council
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was first elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1995 at age 25, the youngest person ever elected to the City Council. She is currently serving her third term in the City Council and her first term as Council President. During her first term, Rawlings-Blake was the lead sponsor of successful legislation to eliminate illegal dumping in Baltimore, as well as the lead sponsor of legislation to address the police misconduct of racial profiling. Council President Rawlings-Blake has been honored with numerous awards. Most recently, The Daily Record selected her as one of "Maryland’s Top 100 Women." The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs named her one of Baltimore’s "Young Women on the Move." She has received the "Hearts of Love Recognition Award" from Aunt Hattie’s Place, and the "Passing the Torch Legacy Award" from Baltimore African American Real Estate Professionals. Council President Rawlings-Blake was an attorney with the Baltimore Office of the Public Defender from 1998 to 2006, She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1995.

Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, Former Virginia State Senator
Jeannemarie Devolites Davis served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1997-2002, before being elected to the State Senate in 2003, where she served for four years.  In her first term in the House of Delegates, she was elected as her Republican Freshman Class President and her peers elected her Majority Whip in her third term – the only Republican woman ever elected to a leadership position in the General Assembly.  Similarly, she represented the 34th Senatorial District as the only Republican Woman in the Virginia State Senate.  Jeannemarie has been active in the Northern Virginia area for over 20 years, 10 of which she has devoted to political service, sponsoring over 146 bills that have become law and spending much of her time with local organizations that focus on improving lives and strengthening the community.