By Sarah Settle
The NCSL Women’s Legislative Network is thrilled to announce the second annual winners of the Women in Politics Making a Difference Award.
These female legislators have made an impressive impact in each of their states and local communities through perseverance, collaboration, and, most important, pursuing their dreams. We were unable to interview our fourth awardee, Senator Yvonne Colomb (D-La.), but wanted to highlight some of why she is deserving of this award.
“Loyal … confident… relentless. Those are three of many words that come to mind when I think about Senator Yvonne Colomb.” This was the opening line of Colomb’s nomination for the 2017 Women Making a Difference in Politics Award.
We received this nomination from a Senate colleague of Colomb. After having the pleasure of meeting her at the NCSL Southeastern Women’s Leadership Seminar it was obvious to me why her colleague nominated her. Her warmth and congeniality were immediately apparent.
Before her election to the Louisiana Senate in 2007, she served 14 years in the House of Representatives and was unanimously elected speaker pro tempore by leadership in 2005. Her district then and now encompasses great socioeconomic diversity—including both major state universities and some of Baton Rouge’s poorest neighborhoods. In the Senate, she sits on four major standing Senate committees: judiciary, where she is chairman; revenue and fiscal affairs; education; and health and welfare.
She also serves on the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children. In these committees, she has pushed for continued funding for public education and grants for programs that serve children and the elderly.
Colomb has called Baton Rouge home for far longer than her legislative career. She attended both secondary school and college in the area, graduating from Capitol Hill High School and Louisiana State University.
Her connection to the community is deeply felt. Every fall, she sponsors events around the community where she gives away school supplies to thousands of children. Each summer she raises money and leads two-week trips where disadvantaged youth are given the opportunity to travel on their first vacation to destinations across the U.S. such as Disneyland or the Grand Canyon.
Her commitment to not only serving her community but inspiring its youth is why we are proud to name her one of our 2017 awardees.
Sarah Settle is staff coordinator of NCSL's Foundation and Member Outreach.