El Centro Council Member Honored

El Centro Council Member Honored with Women’s Municipal Leadership Award

Sedalia Sanders Recognized for Achievements in Local Government

courthouseSan Antonio, Texas – El Centro, Calif., Council Member, Sedalia Sanders, is the recipient of the 2009 Annual Leadership Award, presented by the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Women in Municipal Government (WIMG), during NLC’s Congress of Cities & Exposition.  Sanders was honored today for her outstanding achievements as a local elected official, including her support of women at the local government level.

“Council Member Sanders exemplifies the high levels of dedication and innovation that many of us aspire to bring to our work in local government,” said Daisy W. Lynum, commissioner, Orlando, Fla., and incoming WIMG president.  “I salute her and our finalists for their leadership.”

Other finalists for the award included Alfred Mae Drakeford, councilmember, Camden, SC; Joycelyn Johnson, city council member, Winston-Salem, NC; Belinda LaForce, mayor, Searcy, Ark.; Kathy Turner, Puyallup, Wash.; and Charlina Watson, Councilwoman, Bladensburg, Md.

The WIMG Leadership Award recognizes a female municipal official for improving a city or town’s quality of life, particularly if her leadership serves as a specific mentoring model for future women leaders. The Award promotes increased representation of women in local government and is designed to encourage more women to run for elected office.

“As a part of WIMG, I am deeply proud to have the opportunity to highlight the stunning achievements of women in municipal office through our award program,” said Susan Burgess, mayor pro tem, Charlotte, NC and outgoing WIMG president.  “We are seeing how important it is for women to serve as role models and mentors in their communities.”

The award was presented today at the WIMG annual membership luncheon. Gail Perry-Mason, Senior Director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., gave the keynote address.

Sponsors of the 2009 WIMG Leadership Award include ICMA-RC, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Comcast.

The WIMG Leadership Award Honorary Co-Chairs are M. Margaret Bates, vice mayor, Lauderhill, Fla., and WIMG past president and Jo Ann S. Thomas, WIMG past president.

Judges for the WIMG Leadership Award are John Arriaga, executive director, League of California Cities-Latino Caucus; Gloria Chavez, mayor, Tijeras, NM; Mildred Crump, council president, Newark, NJ; Laraine Davis, vice president, Government & Industry Relations, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Helen Kawagoe, city clerk, Carson, Calif.; and Preston Lee Jr., senior director, Corporate Relations and Housing Outreach, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.

WIMG is a constituency group of the National League of Cities (NLC).  It was formed in 1974 to serve as a forum for communication and networking among women municipal officials and their colleagues interested in addressing women’s issues.  It strives to raise awareness about issues of concern to women and encourages women to seek public office in their communities.

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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