Secretary of State
Secretary Grayson Releases Report on Female Elected Officials
(Louisville, KY) Surrounded by current and future women leaders in the Commonwealth, Secretary of State Trey Grayson released a report today on the current state of female elected officials in Kentucky. The report, entitled Opening Doors of Opportunity: Empowering and Inspiring Kentucky Women to Public Service, commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution which gives women the right to vote.
"Kentucky women have made gains in their efforts to obtain elected positions and should be praised for their efforts," stated Grayson. "While improvement has been made, no Kentuckian should be satisfied with these gains. There are more quality women in our state who would be excellent public servants. Hopefully, this report will inspire them to action and will encourage citizens to actively support qualified women for public office."
The report detailed that women represent 6 Senate seats and 11 House seatsin the Kentucky General Assembly or 15.8% and 11% respectively, while women represent 52.8% of total registered voters in KY. Kentucky ranks 48th among the 50 states in women's political participation (Center for American Women and Politics).
However, the report documented some encouraging data. A statewide comparison to 10 years ago shows that Kentucky has more women representing the Court of Appeals, District Court judges, Circuit Court judges, County Judge Executives, County Clerks, Circuit Clerks, County Attorneys, County PVAs, County Sheriffs, County Coroners, and County Jailers.
The report was released at Sacred Heart Academy where nearly one hundred young ladies gathered to hear the importance of civic involvement and engagement of women in the Commonwealth. They were addressed by Secretary Grayson as well as a host of female leaders from throughout Kentucky.
Caty Mercer, president of the League of Women Voters, also spoke at the report's release and high lighted its importance. "As this report notes, Kentucky ranks 48th in the nation for women elected officials-an extremely disheartening statistic. Through education and statewide involvement, we can close the representation gap and insure a more egalitarian future for Kentucky's youth."
In addition to statistics about the progress of Kentucky women being elected to office, the report provides a number of resources to help women position themselves to be effective leaders in their communities. It includes a database of female elected officials from across the Commonwealth.
The report features sections on former Governor Martha Layne Collins,Congresswoman Anne Northup, Senator Julie Denton, and state Auditor of Public Accountants Crit Luallen, who also spoke during the ceremony. First Lady Glenna Fletcher also contributed to the report with recommendations for getting involved in the community.
"My hope is that this report will not only spur much needed attention to the deficient number of women that Kentuckians have placed into elected positions, but will also provide future leaders with the resources they need to run for office," Grayson said as he spoke with students at the announcement. "We must take a more proactive approach to get qualified women, such as these young ladies, to run for office."
The report follows upon a similar version commissioned under former Secretary of State Bob Babbage's administration. Grayson noted that he hoped future Secretaries would examine this issue during their administrations as well.
The report can be accessed via the Office of the Secretary of State's website at http://www.sos.ky.gov/secdesk/initiatives/women.htm.