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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2007 Media Releases

October 11, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Chris Beutler today announced the formation of the Mayor's Commission on Women, a 15-member group to advise him on issues impacting women and help recommend solutions. His action follows the recent disbanding of the Lincoln Lancaster Women’s Commission (LLWC), which was formed in 1976 by then-Mayor Helen Boosalis and then-Lancaster County Commissioner Jan Gauger.

"Thirty years ago, Helen Boosalis and Jan Gauger had a dream," said Beutler. "They were powerful, successful women who had to be twice as strong and determined as the men they competed against, largely because of the barriers women faced in social, economic and political life at that time.

"While the Women’s Commission has gone away, the needs have not," Beutler said. "I believe we must remain diligent in our efforts. Government and business are still largely dominated by men. Nebraska ranks third in the nation in the number of women in the workforce, yet near the bottom in pay equity. My new Commission is a reflection of my commitment to a Lincoln that provides opportunity for all its citizens. I will be a Mayor that represents the interests of women and whose commitment to equity is stronger than just words."

Beutler said he will re-appoint many of the former LLWC members to the advisory board to retain their experience and commitment. He said he hopes the new Commission can work with the non-profit Friends of the Women’s Commission and private supporters to continue the work initiated by the LLWC. "While the new Commissioners will not have the City’s financial resources behind them, the power of their ideas will help shape my Administration’s policy," he said.

Beutler thanked Director Bonnie Coffey, calling her "the heart and soul" of LLWC. "Her dedication to the cause of women has been unparalleled," he said. Because of its strong leadership, Beutler said, the LLWC has had tremendous success in addressing barriers and providing solutions that gave women a more equitable footing in our community.

Mayor Beutler cited a few of the accomplishments:

  • An LLWC task force helped primary caregivers find quality child care.
  • "Men Speak Out Against Violence" is a Commission effort to provide training to help curb male violence against women.
  • "A Place at the Table," was initiated to get a comprehensive look at women in leadership in the Lincoln-Lancaster area. The study and a follow-up in 2006 provided valuable information for public policy decisions.

"These accomplishments are just a few of the many that have been critical in getting women to society's starting line, so they could compete equally with men and allow our community to benefit from the abilities and skills they bring to our businesses, our civic endeavors and government," said Beutler.

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