Economic Security and Opportunities Champions

Women In Government strives to have more women state legislators make ESO issues a top priority during this legislative session.

Howard | Fox | Winters | Cruz | Chesterfield l Keeley | Vinehout | Marrero | Tlaib | Bellock  l  Chun Oakland  l Errington Orrock 


Senator Sara Howard (D-NE)

Legislative Activity and Profile:

As a freshman member of the Unicameral legislature, Senator Sara Howard hit the ground running with several bills geared toward promoting the economic, social, and physical health of Nebraska's families...Read More


Representative Gloria Fox (D-MA)


Women In Government Involvement:

Representative Fox recently attended WIG's Third Annual Healthcare Summit.

Legislative Activity and Profile:

As a State Representative, I have faithfully served the people of the seventh Suffolk District for over 27 years. My work has always been guided by the input of the residents from my District. Throughout my adult life, I have advocated for the concerns of children and families and for human, social, and economic development issues brought forth by those constituents who need to be heard. My memberships and affiliations therefore follow this path, as do the pieces of legislation I put forth every year...Read More


Senator Jackie Winters (R-OR)

Women In Government Involvement:

Senator Winters is a State Director for Women In Government. She recently attended the 19th Annual State Directors' & Tenth Biennial First Term Legislators' Conference.

Legislative Activity and Profile:

As an Oregon State Senator, Jackie Winters has actively participated in legislative processes, which target economic opportunity and security as a basic tenet of her work. She began her governmental service as director of the New Resources Program of the state’s Office of Economic Opportunity at the request of Governor Tom McCall. First elected to the Legislature in 1999, she has since been recognized as a champion for children, families, and seniors, emphasizing the importance of education for all, access to affordable and effective health care, and availability of family-wage employment...Read More


Representative Janet Cruz (D-FL)

Women In Government Involvement:

Representative Cruz is a State Director for Women In Government. She recently attended the 19th Annual State Directors' & Tenth Biennial First Term Legislators' Conference.

Legislative Activity and Profile:

From Representative Cruz:
"As a working single mother raising two children, I knew firsthand how difficult the struggle was to work to provide for my children when they were younger. I know how difficult it can be to make decisions for your family when you do not have a lot of options available to you. My struggles to make ends meet when I was a young mother still resonate with me today. I do understand what so many Floridians and American families are going through as they make tough choices today...Read More


Senator Linda Chesterfield (D-AR)

Women In Government Involvement:

Senator Chesterfield recently attended the 13th Annual Southern Regional Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.

Legislative Activity:

Senator Linda Pondexter Chesterfield is a freshman senator for Arkansas. She is the chair of the Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs Committee. As the chairperson, she fought and compromised with committee members to secure the passage of legislation that will allow the state to improve the state’s highway infrastructure which is the key to economic growth in the state...Read More


Representative Helene M. Keeley (D-DE)

Women In Government Involvement:

Representative Keeley is a State Director for Women In Government. She recently attended the Third Annual Energy Summit and the 13th Annual Eastern Regional Conference, & Outreach to Vulnerable Populations.

Legislative Activity:

Representative Keeley works hard to champion the needs of her constituents on financial issues. She sponsored House Bill (H.B.) 303 that focused on curtailing the potentially predatory lending practices associated with anticipated tax refunds. Anticipation lending involves a loan in which a taxpayer borrows money based on the estimated value of his or her annual tax return. Representative Keeley attributes the lack of legislative consumer protection safeguards as a principle reason why these loans have threatened the economic stability and well being of Delaware’s residents...Read More


Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-WI)

Women In Government Involvement:

Representative Vinehout is a member of Women In Government and a former State Director. She has enjoyed being a member of WIG and attending WIG events.

Legislative Activity:

Senator Kathleen Vinehout, has worked to protect the financial well being of her constituents. She proposed The Student Credit Protection Bill (S.B. 525). This legislation is made to secure the future financial literacy of young adults. The Bill is intended to educate students about credit card debt and assist them in avoiding potential predatory tactics from credit card companies...Read More


Senator Beverly Marrero (D-TN)

Women In Government Involvement:

Senator Beverly Marrero is a State Director for Women in Government. She regularly attends the Southern Regional, Conference and adds constructive insight to a variety of topics discussed there.

Legislative Activity:

Senator Marrero has proposed many bills associated with securing the economic success and opportunities of her Tennessee constituents. Notably she sponsored Senate Bill (S.B.) 94, which is a Consumer Protection act and as introduced, requires any gift card or prepaid card issued as payment of a rebate to contain an expiration date conspicuously printed on the card...Read More


Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

Women In Government Involvement:

Representative Rashida Tlaib is a State Director for Women In Government. She attended the 18th Annual Midwestern Regional Conference this past year.

Legislative Activity:

Representative Tlaib was elected to represent Michigan’s 12th District in 2008. She made history by becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature. Currently, she serves on the Appropriations Committee and the subcommittees on Human Services, Judiciary, and Community Health, the latter two of which she serves as Democratic Vice Chair...Read More


Representative Patti Bellock (R-IL)

Women In Government Involvement:

Representative Patti Bellock is a long-time member of Women In Government. She currently serves on our Board of Directors as the Midwestern Regional Director. She was an original member of the 2003 “Assisting Low Income Families” Task Force meeting. It was at this meeting that Rep. Bellock saw an Annie E. Casey Foundation video on predatory lending that motivated her to work on FES issues.

In 2005, Rep. Bellock spearheaded the Payday Loan Reform Act which has helped citizens of Illinois save more than $20 million in loan fees and interest charges. Rep. Bellock has spoken nationally on the issue of predatory lending and serves as co-President of the Illinois Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) and Vice-Chairperson of Human Services Committee. She is frequently asked to speak on predatory lending issues including with WIG, most recently at our March 9, 2009 FES Conference Call. Rep. Bellock was also a participant in the WIG FES Task Force in June 2008.

Legislative Activity:

In 2008 Rep. Bellock focused on closing loopholes in the 2005 Payday Loan Reform Act with Senate Bill 1993. The original version of the bill removed “the term of 120 days or less” from the definition of products subject to the Payday Loan Reform Act ensuring that the Act covers all payday loans. The bill also restored the ability of the consumer to prepay their loans without penalty...Read More

Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-HI)

Legislative Activity:

Hawai`i State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland has introduced measures to help families save and build their assets so they are able to have choice and control in their lives. According to Chun Oakland, for women, men and families, assets are essential to have financial security in difficult times, to create economic opportunities for oneself, and to leave a legacy for future generations.

In January 2009, Chun Oakland introduced SB 790, a bill to provide a refundable state earned income tax credit (EITC) equivalent to 20 percent of the federal earned income tax credit. The bill was deferred by the Committee on Human Services. Since 2006, she has introduced a comprehensive package of bills that encourage and widen opportunities for Hawai`i families to build their assets. These measures include: expanding individual development accounts; establishing microenterprise funding; creating a self-employment assistance program; assisting with down-payment loan assistance; and increasing support for family self-sufficiency and Section 8 voucher programs...Read More

Senator Sue Errington (D-IN)

Women in Government Involvement:

Former Senator Sue Errington was elected to the Indiana State Senate in November of 2006. She is a member of Women In Government and has attended several WIG conferences over the past couple years. In winter 2009, WIG profiled Senator Errington as a FES champion in our newsletter “The Legislative Voice.”

Legislative Activity:

Former Senator Sue Errington and fellow WIG member Representative Terri Austin (D-IN) have been leading a bipartisan, bicameral group on FES issues called “Growing Middle Class Coalition.” The Coalition received media attention in March 2009 from the IndyStar.com highlighting their work to help middle-income and lower-income families...Read More

Senator Nan Orrock (D-GA)

Women In Government Involvement:

Senator Orrock has been a member of Women In Government since 1998 and is active in regional conferences and meetings. She is a member of WIG's Board of Directors.

Legislative Activity:

In 2008, Senator Orrock sponsored Senate Bill 531, a bill relating to foreclosure on mortgages, conveyances to secure debt, and liens, so as to require a foreclosure to be conducted by the current owner or holder of the mortgage. The Bill was signed into law on May 13, 2008...Read More