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Wisconsin's First Woman State Senator

Published On: Jul 02 2013 06:00:58 PM CDT
Neil Heinen photo





Katie Morrison was a trailblazer. She told a story of watching the Wisconsin State Legislature in action and coming to the conclusion that she could do that too. At the time, 1974, she was teaching at UW Platteville. A year later she was sworn in as the first woman to be elected to the Wisconsin State Senate.

She only served one term, but along with one of her mentors, Sen. Carl Thompson of Stoughton, and fellow freshman Sen. Tim Cullen from Janesville, Sen. Morrison helped further Wisconsin as a progressive state with smart, creative, moderate leaders enacting sound policies in bi-partisan fashion that made Wisconsin a better state. When she left state government she continued her public service at the federal level. But her death this week reminds us again that there was a time when women were not elected as they are today and elected officials were inspirational and open to new ideas. By remembering that, and honoring that, we keep Katie Morrison’s legacy alive forever. We’d be smart to do just that.


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