Honoring Congresswoman Barbara Lee
2017 TORCHBEARER RECEPTION
On October 2, we honored inspirational women leaders in the fields of peace, justice, and the advancement of women during WiLL/WAND's 2017 Torchbearer Reception.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the leading voice in Congress against endless war and excessive military spending, has a history of unwavering commitment to peace. As the only member of either house of Congress to vote against the authorization of the use of force after the September 1, 2001 attacks, Congresswoman Lee exemplifies the leadership that WiLL and WAND members strive to achieve. We proudly acknowledge the myriad achievements of Congresswoman Lee!
Past award winners include Congresswoman Schakowsky (2015), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (2013), U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (2011), Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (2009), Marian Wright Edelman (2007), Ambassador Carol Moseley-Braun (2005), Helen Thomas (2003), Eve Ensler (2002), Hon. Janet Reno (2001), and Barbara Lee (1999).
We also honored the 2017 WiLL Pacesetters, ten women state legislators who are leading the way towards peace, and presented the Janice E. Kelley service award.
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Utah
Rebecca was first elected to the Utah House in 2008. She has served as Utah House Minority Whip and Minority Assistant Whip. Rebecca served as a public affairs staffer for a number of local Utah nonprofits from 1985 to 2007 and cultivated a parallel “career” as a volunteer for nonprofits ranging from Envision Utah, to the ACLU, to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. She has taught volunteer engagement classes as adjunct faculty for the U of U’s MPA program. Her focus is on public policy related to health and human services, as well as voter engagement and access.
Rebecca’s passion for social justice advocacy and progressive public policy was forged in the multicultural community of Bingham Canyon. She credits her parents’ influence in shaping her compassion for the less fortunate, pride in cultural diversity, commitment to the environment, and support for our public education system. Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck holds both a B. A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and an MPA from the University of Utah. She is a WiLL State Director for Utah.
Senator Marilyn Moore, Connecticut
Senator Marilyn Moore was first elected to the Connecticut Senate in 2014. She now serves as Deputy President Pro Tem and Chair of the Children & Human Services Committee. She has been a force in advocating for racial and health equity, living wage, and legislation to support and protect Connecticut communities. She has tackled the war against hunger as a member of several boards and organizations in Connecticut and the New England States. In her first term Senator Moore championed the Fight for $15 Campaign to raise wages and the 2 Generation Initiative to address poverty among families. Her accomplishments in improving the quality of life for Connecticut residents have earned her local and national acclaim over the past twenty years, including several prestigious awards from local, state and national organizations. She attended the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Senator Moore is a WiLL State Director for Connecticut.
Rep. Melissa Hortman, Minnesota
Melissa Hortman was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2004 and now serves as the House Minority Leader. As a legislator, she has focused on energy, transportation, the environment, and civil law. Representative Hortman chaired the House Energy Committee from 2013 to 2014 and authored legislation that created Minnesota’s solar energy standard. She received acclaim during the past legislative session when she admonished Republican colleagues for playing cards in the backroom and ignoring speeches by their fellow legislators who happened to be women of color. When criticized by Republican leadership, her response was she was sorry but she was not sorry! Representative Hortman holds a B. A. from Boston University and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She is currently pursuing her MPA at the Kennedy School, Harvard University.
Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer, West Virginia
Delegate Barbara Fleischauer was first elected in 1996 to the West Virginia House of Delegates and currently serves as Minority Chair of the House Committee on Health and Human Resources. Barbara has passed important legislation affecting women, children, energy, veterans and disabled West Virginians. She sponsored the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, the Domestic Violence Treatment and Prevention Act, the Autism Treatment Act and various human trafficking bills. She worked to dramatically increase funding for domestic violence shelters and legal services for low income citizens. Her numerous recognitions include the WV Women’s Commission Guardian Angel, the AARP National Capitol Caregiver, the National Committee on Pay Equity Special Action Award, the WV Social Workers Association Legislator of the Year, the WV Association for Justice Legislator of the Year award, and the WV Citizen Action Group "In Defense of Democracy" Award. Delegate Fleischauer is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and the WVU College of Law in Morgantown, WV. She served several terms on the WAND Board of Directors and is the WiLL State Director for West Virginia.
Senator Patricia Spearman, Nevada
Senator Patricia Spearman was first elected to the Nevada Senate in 2012 and is currently the co-majority whip. Senator Spearman has been very active in the fight for marriage equality, economic development, veteran’s rights and a real energy conservation plan for Nevada. Recent honors include the Women's Equality Day Award and Top Female Veteran of the Year. Senator Spearman holds a BA in Political Science from Norfolk State University; a Master of Divinity from The Seminary of the Southwest; and a Doctorate of Business Administration from Walden University with an emphasis on energy policy. Her military education includes Military Police Officer Basic and Advanced Courses. Dr. Spearman is an ordained minister and served in the U.S. Army for more than two decades, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Senator Spearman is a WiLL State Director for Nevada.
Rep. Carol Ammons, Illinois
Rep. Carol Ammons was first elected to the Illinois House in 2014. She is a former member of Urbana City Council and Champaign County Board, with a combined ten years of service in elected office, at the county, city and state level. Carol has worked to end the economic “race to the bottom” for Illinois families, reform the criminal justice system, defend union members and their right to bargain collectively, and protect our environment. Her legislation includes stopping the dumping of toxic chemicals in the landfill above the Mahomet Aquifer, lowering the cost of phone calls from Illinois prisons to ensure families can stay connected, requiring stronger police accountability measures, and implementing protections for temporary workers.. She volunteered at Courage Connections (A Woman's Fund); worked at Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army Food Pantry, and University YMCA. Carol is highly sought after as a speaker and has shared her experiences on numerous national panels. She was an Edgar Fellow at the Illinois Institute of Government & Public Affairs.
Rep. Lisa Subeck , Wisconsin
Lisa Subeck was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2015. Prior to that she served two terms on the City of Madison Common Council. As a City Council member, she successfully worked to bring much needed services to vulnerable neighborhoods, expanded access to public transit, improved public safety, and protected vital community services.
Lisa has been active in state and local politics, both personally and professionally, for nearly 20 years. Her past work includes serving as the Executive Director of United Wisconsin and as the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. Before that, Rep. Subeck worked at YWCA Madison to improve the lives of women and families through her work in the social services field focusing on issues of poverty, homelessness, economic empowerment, and affordable housing. In the state legislature, Lisa remains a staunch advocate for social and economic justice, as well as women’s equality and reproductive choice. Among her many awards, she received the Breastfeeding Advocate Award by the Breastfeeding Council of South Central Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rep. Carolyn Fleming Hugley, Georgia
Rep. Carolyn Hugley was first was elected in 1992 to the Georgia House of Representatives. She is the first African-American to serve as Minority Whip of the Georgia House of Representatives. She is a former chair of the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee and the Women’s Legislative Caucus. She serves as a member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and the Working Families Caucus. Carolyn’s outstanding and visionary leadership is focused on developing “real solutions for real people.” She has dedicated her service to children and family issues. She is known for her work in education, health care, enhanced job opportunities and public safety. Her numerous bills include anti-bullying legislation, legislation to keep widows of veterans in their homes, legislation to keep sexual offenders out of school zones, and anti-stalking legislation. Her leadership and service has been recognized with numerous awards from local, state, national and international organizations. Rep. Hugley has a BA in Political Science and a MPA in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas
Rep. Harriet Drummond, Alaska
Rep. Harriet Drummond was first elected to the Alaska House in 2012. She is currently chair of the Education Committee and part of the multi-partisan House Majority coalition, which is committed to resolving Alaska’s serious fiscal gap. Prior to her election to the legislature, she served on the Anchorage Municipal Assembly and the Anchorage School Board. Voters approved over half a billion dollars in school bond issues during her tenure that built and restored schools all over the city. She has co-sponsored bills to eliminate gender-based wage discrimination, to provide child sexual abuse and teen dating abuse awareness and prevention efforts in public schools, and to allow nursing mothers workplace breaks. Rep. Drummond has a BS degree from Cornell University. She is a WiLL State Director for Alaska.
Senator Barbara L’Italien, Massachusetts
Barbara L’Italien is a Massachusetts State Senator and a champion for seniors, people with disabilities, and Massachusetts working families. Barbara has been a steadfast leader since her first term in office, advocating and casting key votes for first-in-the-nation legislation for marriage equality in 2004 and healthcare access for all in 2006. Additionally, she was the driving force in a 2010 bill enabling people with Autism to get health insurance, and a 2014 bill that opened doors to statewide support services for children and adults with Autism. Senator L’Italien is also a tireless advocate for seniors, authoring legislation to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and increasing eligibility for homecare services for seniors so that they may age-in-place instead of being forced into institutional facilities.