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Helen Gordon Davis

Ann W. Madsen: Where are the champions for women?

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As this Mother’s Day approaches, I find it particularly ironic to be advocating for the same support for women as our founder did four decades ago. Helen Gordon Davis opened this nonprofit to help women who needed extra support just to survive — serious counseling, intense skills development, assistance to the homeless and domestic violence populations, legal advice, financial guidance and the restored confidence to lead independent lives. She advocated for and was successful in persuading the state Legislature to…

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Florida Democrats to propose “The Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act” aimed at closing gender pay gap

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House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz and two of her colleagues have filed the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act, aimed at closing the gender pay gap in Florida. Lantana Democrat Lori Berman is co-filing the legislation with Cruz in the House (HB 319), and Orlando Democrat Linda Stewart is filing the bill in the Senate (SB 410). “It is unconscionable that in America today women continue to be paid less for the same amount of work as men,” declared Cruz in a statement issued on Friday. “Our nation was…

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Today on Context Florida: Jon Steverson & the law, Helen Gordon Davis, black bear hunting and shooting hostages

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Today on Context Florida: DEP Secretary Jon Steverson says he has never fired anyone for enforcing the law. Yet Bruce Ritchie says Steverson’s fingerprints – or at least tacit backing – are all over the ouster of top staff at the St. Johns River Water Management District. The resignations of Executive Director Hans Tanzler and four top staff members at the district, based in Palatka, has prompted criticism from environmentalists and newspaper editorial writers about political interference from Tallahassee. Obituaries for…

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Helen Gordon Davis, an early victim of racial gerrymandering in Florida

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The obituaries for Helen Gordon Davis correctly recounted what one called her “trailblazing” career in the Florida Legislature, where in 1974 she became one of very few women – the first from Hillsborough County – in what a colleague famously called “the land of the Bubbas.” She weathered the sexism and condescension and compiled a luminous record in what some refer to wistfully as the “Golden Age” of Florida politics. What the tributes didn’t mention, after her death May 18,…

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Mitch Perry Report for 5.19. 15 — RIP, Helen Gordon Davis

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Tampa icon Helen Gordon Davis passed away yesterday after being in poor health for awhile. She was 88. Reading about her life and political history again last night, I realized how much this woman kicked some ass working for positive change in Florida. “She was a phenomenal spokesperson for women and human rights,” former USF President and state legislator Betty Castor told Florida Politics in an email this morning. “From her early leadership of the League of Women Voters to championing all…

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Pioneer Helen Gordon Davis passes away at the age of 88

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Helen Gordon Davis, the first woman from Hillsborough County elected to serve in the Florida Legislature, died from congestive heart failure on Monday. She was 88. “She was one of the most effective, powerful women leaders in the Florida Legislature,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Chair Sandy Murman said last fall at an event at the Women’s Centre in Hyde Park, a facility that Mrs. Davis helped create back in the early 1970s to help women succeed both personally and professionally. She was a native New…

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House Democrats say “equality issues” aren’t moving in the Legislature

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A quartet of Democratic lawmakers on Thursday held a press conference to discuss issues  they say will help women in the workforce. However, they are having a hard time getting those “equality” bills heard. For five years, Rep. Janet Cruz has filed an equal pay for equal work bill. Dubbed the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act after a long-serving Tampa senator, Cruz said she has been unable to get HB 25 heard in one committee this year. “This…

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