Claiming a Vote: Women Legislators of Maryland
The General Assembly

By Kathy Postel Kretman and Gregory G. Lebel
January 1, 1991

FORWARD

As the tenth President of the Women Legislators of Maryland, I feel a tremendous respect for all the women who have actively participated in the Caucus during the past eighteen years to fulfill the Caucus' stated purpose: To use our elected power to research and develop legislation relating to women, to support legislation assisting women, to communicate and cooperate with other women's groups and to encourage the participation of women in Maryland government.

I want to see experienced legislators work more closely with newly elected women legislators, sharing the official and unofficial rules we've learned within the General Assembly's "Halls of Power" so that all of us can function more effectively.

I want to see us increase our influence on a substantive level by fully utilizing the resources of our "partner", the University of Maryland's Center for Political Leadership and Participation. The Caucus has, of course, relied on the valuable work and assistance offered by the Legislative Fellows, who are sponsored by the Center. It's a pleasure to work with these bright young women and encourage both their commitment to public service and aspirations to elective office.

With our new Computer Link to the University now fully operational, members of the Women's Caucus can now fully avail themselves of the University's research departments to supplement our meager staff resources and increase our legislative impact.

I hope to see this expanded role begin this year with the Center's Legislative Fellows researching two topics: women and the media and drug treatment facilities for women. The Caucus will then have solid material with which to determine what, if any, legislative and/or community action we need to take on these issues. The ability to work with credible and extensive research on a limited number of issues that the majority of the Caucus determines are priority issues for women will enable us to increase our credibility, and then our effectiveness.

We must continue to focus on bringing more women into prominent legislative, judicial, administrative and academic positions. Our goal is to see more and more women in important, decision making positions, so that they can be role models for other women. By opening doors, they will assist others in climbing the career ladders.

Our increasing numbers insure an exciting and diverse Women's Caucus that is able to represent the views and concerns of all women in the state. The active participation of all of our members assures that we will continue to be a model for other state legislative caucus' for years to core.

Senator Mary H. Boergers


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