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Resolution RS2020-175 (as amended)

A Resolution recognizing Nashville’s trailblazing elected women officeholders who broke barriers and influenced and inspired those who came after them.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council, in collaboration with the Council’s Women’s Caucus and the Mayor’s Council on the State of Women, is sponsoring a series of Resolutions honoring the women’s suffrage movement to honor the Centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August 2020; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee played an important role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment—the final state necessary for it to become law; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote, the Metropolitan Council recognizes the contributions of some of Nashville’s first elected women officeholders who are no longer serving in this elected office; and

WHEREAS, Molly Todd was the first woman elected to a Tennessee State Constitutional Convention in 1953; and

WHEREAS, regarding the first women from Davidson County to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly, Maude Tucker Taylor (1957-1959) was the first women to serve in the House (1957-1959), and Mary Mize Anderson was the first woman to serve in the Senate (1963-1967, 1973-1975); and

WHEREAS, Dr. Dorothy Brown, was the first African American female elected to the Tennessee General Assembly as a member of the House of Representatives in 1966; and

WHEREAS, Lois Jordan was the first woman elected in 1971 to the Metropolitan Council without it being vacated previously by her husband; the first of whom to so serve was Gertrude Bartlett who filled the unexpired term of her husband when he died in 1953 and remained on the city council for ten years; and

WHEREAS, Jane Eskind, when elected to the Tennessee’s Public Service Commission in 1980, was the first woman to win election to a statewide office in Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, now Judge of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, was the first woman elected to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1990; and

WHEREAS, JoAnn North, who served from 1979 to 1991, was the first woman elected to a Council-at-Large seat in Davidson County, and the first woman to hold a constitutional office as Davidson County’s Assessor of Property from 1992-2008; and

WHEREAS, Judge Barbara Haynes was the first woman to beat an incumbent in a countywide race when she won a General Sessions judgeship in 1982, the same year that Judge Muriel Robinson was the first woman to be elected to an open seat for a trial court judgeship; and

WHEREAS, Gayle Ray, who served from 1994-2002, was the first woman elected sheriff; and

WHEREAS, Carolyn Baldwin Tucker, who served from 1999-2007, was the first African American woman elected to a Council-at-Large seat; and

WHEREAS, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors, a former Councilmember-At-Large member from 1999 to 2007, was the first woman elected as Vice Mayor and served from 2007 to 2015; and

WHEREAS, former two-term Councilmember-At-Large member Megan Barry (2007-2015) was the first woman elected as Mayor, and the first Metro Council member elected Mayor, serving from 2015 to 2018; and

WHEREAS, Speaker Beth Harwell, who was first elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1988, was the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House and served from 2011 to 2019; and

WHEREAS, Senator Thelma Harper, who served in the Metropolitan Council from 1983 to 1991, was the first African-American woman elected to the Tennessee Senate, where she served from 1991 until her retirement in 2019, at which time she had served longer than any other woman in the Senate.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as recognizing the extraordinary efforts and contributions of these Nashville trailblazers.

Section 2. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Nancy VanReece, Sharon Hurt, Erin Evans, Courtney Johnston, Tonya Hancock, Burkley Allen, Ginny Welsch, Gloria Hausser, Joy Styles, Jennifer Gamble, Emily Benedict, Zulfat Suara, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Angie Henderson, Thomas Cash, Bob Nash, Colby Sledge, Bob Mendes, Sean Parker, John Rutherford, Russ Bradford, Delishia Porterfield, Thom Druffel, Kyonzté Toombs, Freddie O'Connell

Related Documents

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedJanuary 21, 2020

AdoptedJanuary 21, 2020

ApprovedJanuary 28, 2020

By: By: Mayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 01/28/2020 1:30 PM