Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Washington Women in Government Reception
February 3, 2004

Thank you Jenny. Good evening everyone, and welcome to the Mansion. We are honored to host such a distinguished group of leaders tonight.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the three most influential women in my life: Mona, Emily and my mother, Julie Locke.

I am very proud of the women we honor tonight, and I thank you for your important contribution to our state.

I am also proud to be the governor of Washington.

Washington—the state that for the past 10 years has had a higher percentage of women in its state Legislature than any other state. Nationally, only 22.7 percent of state legislators are women—but in our state it’s 38.8 percent.

Washington—the first state to have a State Supreme Court with a majority of women justices.

Washington—a state with one of the top Attorneys General in the nation—a woman.

Washington—a state represented in the United States Senate by two of the most capable Senators in the other Washington—both women.

A state whose first woman Governor, Dixie Lee Ray, was also the first woman to chair the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

A state that can boast the first woman to be mayor of a major American city, Bertha Landes of Seattle.

A state that led the way for equal rights for women. As early as 1854, the first territorial legislature of Washington came within one vote of giving women the right to vote. In 1910, our legislature did enfranchise women, a full ten years ahead of the passage of the 20th Amendment.

We are leaders because of leaders like you. Tonight, we honor and salute you, and we celebrate your accomplishments. And we thank your for continuing our state’s long tradition—and urge you to keep up the great work.

We hear you “roar in numbers too big to ignore,” and we like the way that sounds here in our state.

Congratulations, and thank you!

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