A resolution honoring the life of Jane Eskind, the first and only woman elected to a statewide office in Tennessee.

WHEREAS, Jane Eskind was a groundbreaking leader for women's rights, education and the arts; and

WHEREAS, Mrs. Eskind was a leading advocate for progress and social justice in Nashville, and she was active in many causes that endeavored to pull the community together. She was prominent as a national political leader, serving twice on the Democratic National Platform Committee. Mrs. Eskind was the first woman to chair the Tennessee Democratic Party and the first and only woman to win a statewide election in Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, she faced an uphill battle to unseat popular Republican Senator Howard Baker, but her campaign drew admiration across the state and the nation, including from then-President Jimmy Carter, who came to Tennessee to campaign for her; and

WHEREAS, Mrs. Eskind won a seat on the three-person state Public Service Commission, becoming the first woman elected to statewide office in Tennessee. She later became chair of the Public Service Commission; and

WHEREAS, in 1986, she ran for the Democratic nomination for governor, finishing second to then-State Representative Ned McWherter. The day after that primary loss, Mrs. Eskind - as could be expected from those who knew her - was on his campaign bus and working tirelessly toward his eventual victory; and

WEHREAS, Mrs. Eskind was active in an array of causes and organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the International Women's Forum, and the Women Executives in State Government, for which she was a charter member. From 1978 to 1980, she chaired the Tennessee Commission on the Status of Women. She later was named trustee to the Vice President's Residence Foundation and to the Brandeis University Board of Trust; and

WHEREAS, she provided time and energy to many groups, including the boards of Tennessee Tomorrow and NashvilleREAD, a local literacy group. Mrs. Eskind served as an adviser to Nashville CARES, an HIV-AIDS advocacy group; the Legal Aid Society; the Nashville Institute for the Arts; the League of Women Voters; the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on African-American Church Studies; Family and Children's Services; and New Leadership South; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes the bountiful life of this exceptional public servant and human being, reflect upon her impeccable character and commitment to Nashville and express our condolences to the family upon the occasion of her untimely passing.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as honoring the life of Jane Eskind, the first and only woman elected to a statewide office in Tennessee.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to the family of Jane Eskind.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: John Cooper, Mina Johnson


Referred to: Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee
Introduced: August 16, 2016
Adopted: August 16, 2016
Returned unsigned by the Mayor: August 17, 2016

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