SoJo Mayor Dawn Ramsey to join national panel at National Governors Association Conference in SLC
Jul 17, 2019 10:37AM
● By Jennifer J Johnson
“Whenever I hear the mayor speak I am struck by her warmth and caring for our community,” observed Merilee Rowley, president and chair of the South Jordan Chamber of Commerce and principal broker of Selling Salt Lake. (Photo Credit: South Jordan Chamber)
By Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected]
This Pioneer Day South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey won’t be attending the usual holiday festivities, or even tending to the “Christmas in July” festivities she annually hosts at her home.
Instead, at the invitation of Utah Governor Gary Herbert, South Jordan’s first female mayor will be joining other influential women in government and business as part of the National Governors Association Conference coming to Salt Lake City.
Ramsey will join Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Chief of Staff for North Carolina Governor (Roy Cooper) Kristi Jones, and Managing Director of Government Relations for Deloitte Heidi Green in a panel discussion entitled: “Women in Government: Honoring the 19th Amendment.”
Ramsey is increasingly becoming a Utah power broker, participating on nearly 20 boards and receiving national visibility. She represented Utah at the first-ever national women’s mayors conference.
The panel will be moderated by Lucy Gettman, an American University adjunct professor in Washington, D.C. and executive director of Women in Government, an organization of 1,800-plus women state legislators.
Per the National Governors Association draft agenda for the event, the panel represents the first-slotted content for the event, following the group’s attending the largest parade in the state—the Days of 47 parade—on Utah’s biggest holiday—Pioneer Day.
The Pioneer Day Holiday, July 24, celebrates the Mormon pioneers’ passage into the Salt Lake Valley from Emigration Canyon in 1847. The first statewide Pioneer Day celebration was held 163 years ago in 1857.
The panel of accomplished women comes on the first day of the three-day National Governors Association Summer Meeting, taking place in Salt Lake City, July 24-26.
It is an early recognition of the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement’s successful passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote.
“As states mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the National Governors Association is commemorating this milestone of democracy and sharing examples of how the amendment is shaping and enhancing our system of self-government today,” said Nikki Guilford, NGA interim executive director and chief of staff.
“We’re excited to mark this occasion during our Summer Meeting in Salt Lake City, as Utah recognized women’s right to vote upon statehood and played an important role in affirming this right for all American women. NGA is honored to host a distinguished panel in Salt Lake City to speak about opportunities and challenges related to this vital component of our democracy.”
While many of the conference’s nearly-90 sessions are open to the public, this special session is “invitation only.”
“It is what must be the most intimidating assignment I have ever received,” said Ramsey, who was recently called by Gordon Larsen, director of federal affairs for Herbert’s office, to participate in the event.
“A humbling opportunity,” she adds.
The conference is, according to Larsen, “A good opportunity to show off Utah to the rest of the country.”
The National Governors Association is a nonpartisan organization representing all 55 states and territories. The organization was founded in 1908 and considers itself one of the most respected public policy organizations in the country. The association’s members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. Members come to the association from across the political spectrum, but NGA itself is boldly nonpartisan. Because of that, governors can share best practices, speak with an informed voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions that improve citizens’ lives through state government and support the principles of federalism.