Senate honors the late former Sen. Georgia Davis Powers with bronze plaque

04/15/2016 03:22 PM

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky state Senate honored the late Georgia Davis Powers with a bronze plaque which was affixed to her former desk in the chamber on Friday, the last day of the 2016 legislative session.

Powers, the first African-American and the first woman to be elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 1967, died on January 30 at the age of 92.

As a state lawmaker and activist, Powers worked for fair housing, equal rights and became a close ally of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1964, she brought King and baseball great Jackie Robinson to Frankfort as part of a rally to make public accommodations available to everyone regardless of race.

She served in the Senate for 21 years representing Louisville’s 33rd district.

Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, who currently represents the district, praised Powers for her tenacity as a true leader.

“What she did for the commonwealth and for all people, she’s iconic, so it’s only fitting today that we take pause to acknowledge her this way,” Neal said. “The Senate, in my opinion, could not hold anyone in any higher esteem.

Former governor and current Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, praised Powers for her strong convictions.

“There was no fear in that lady regarding what she knew in her heart, what she wanted to say and do, and she did it,” Carroll said. “At times, even taking on the individual now speaking.”

Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, says that Powers served as a role model and advisor for her when she was a young girl and when she arrived in Frankfort as a legislator.

“I found myself asking her for advice and encouragement of which she always gave freely and I’ll tell you, she’s tough,” Webb said. “I got to thank her for that several times since my election to the Senate in 2009.”

Powers addressed the dramatic 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, chaired Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 Kentucky presidential campaigns. She fought for the Equal Rights Amendment resolution, the Displaced Homemakers Law, and a law to increase the minimum wage in Kentucky.

Powers is an inductee of the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame and an inductee of the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.