Tennessee ranks in the bottom 10 states for representation by women in the state legislature, according to the Center for American Women in Politics. Hamilton County has only one female county commissioner, and the city of Chattanooga has only two female city councilors. Chattanooga has never had a female mayor. Working toward the proportional representation of women in elective office is a priority for the League of Women Voters of Chattanooga.
For her work in helping women run for office, the LWV of Chattanooga will present an award for outstanding contribution to civic engagement in Hamilton County and Chattanooga to April Goebeler at the group’s annual meeting on Thursday. Ms. Goebeler organized a candidate workshop for women in October with Kate Coyne-McCoy in Chattanooga. The workshop was well-attended and focused on how to run for elective office.
Ms. Goebeler also organized a seminar in Chattanooga on holding office, at which high school and college-age young women met with female elected officials and learned what it takes to successfully hold an elected position.
Ms. Goebeler is the co-founder of the Empower Women PAC, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to assisting women in successfully becoming candidates for office.
Members of the League of Women Voters will elect a board and program directors at the meeting and will celebrate the 98th birthday of the League. The public is invited, and information on the League’s activities and events in the coming year (including candidate forums and voter registration) will be available. The annual meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. on the 5th floor of the Edney Building at 1100 Market St. An informal lasagna dinner ($5, payable at the door) will take place before the meeting at 6:30 p.m., at the same site.
Nominees for the 2018 LWV of Chattanooga Board include Sharon Alexander and Lisa Bilbrey Hyder (co-presidents); Marvene Noel (1st vice president); Marcia Noe (2nd vice president); Maria Sabin (secretary/treasurer); Teresa Garland (Voter Services chair); Helen Burns Sharp (Observer Corps chair); Colline M. Ferrier (Public Relations director); and Helen Barrett (Newsletter editor). Nominees for off-board Program Directors include Lynda Buntin Burman (Human Needs chair), Christin McWhorter (Health Care chair) and April Goebeler (Women’s Proportional Representation chair).
For more information, please visit the LWV of Chattanooga website or the group’s Facebook page. Join the League of Women Voters at http://www.lwvtn.org/join_a_local_league