Women Changing America: JoAnn Davidson, A Pioneer, And A Leader of Women
October 3, 2011

JoAnn Davidson Boardmember, American Crossroads and First Woman Speaker in the Ohio State Legislature

“For the first time I see real fear in people.”  A telling comment about the state of the economy from Ohio’s own JoAnn Davidson.  Davidson has been  a pioneer in politics and a leader of women in America for the past 40 years.   In her home state of Ohio she sees the devastation of President Obama’s policies and Washington’s failures to reign in spending.   Davidson has been watching the ups and downs of the US economy throughout her career in public service, but she has never seen it quite as volatile or worrisome as it is now.  So highly-regarded by men and women alike,  she has been asked to take a seat on the board of American Crossroads, she has served as Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee, and in 1995, became the first woman ever to serve as Speaker of

Davidson Becomes National RNC Co-Chair

the House of Representatives in  Ohio. JoAnn Davidson is a role model and an open door for every woman who has ever been inspired to dig into politics.

Today, JoAnn sees a most crucial time before us, and feels the drumbeat of dissatisfaction of women in Ohio and across the nation:

“Women care about jobs because it is a protection for their families and their futures.  They care about education for the same reason.  People everywhere want solutions now.  Debt limits, controls on entitlement programs and politicians who will WORK together.”  says Davidson.

Davidson sees Mitt Romney as the strongest candidate in the field for 2012.  She likes his skill set for the troubles facing America in this era.  But JoAnn Davidson doesn’t leave the future of America in the hands of others.  She is as busy as ever on the national scene and in the State of Ohio,

Ohio Governor John Kasich

Ohio Gaming Meeting

where Governor John Kasich has asked her to lead a commission supervising Ohio’s new gaming industry.  Developing guidelines and regulations to govern casinos is the last assignment JoAnn ever anticipated, but “now that casinos are part of the landscape of Ohio I feel that regulating them will be important to Ohio families.”   Once again Davidson steps up to a challenging task in public policy.

Since her first foray into politics in the mid 1960’s when she was elected as a Reynoldsburg  City Councilwoman,Jo Ann Davidson has always been considered a pragmatist and a concensus-builder.   Not just satisfied to fill another seat in the Ohio State Assembly, JoAnn became an expert in public policy and garnered the respect of her mostly male colleagues so much so, that they elected her to lead as Speaker of the House.

“Early on I gained experience by working for the Chamber of Commerce.  This helped me to understand how important leadership was in the community.  I realized that if I wanted to have an impact, I would have to be involved in the political process.  In the beginning I ran campaigns for others.  Soon I was dissatisfied with what I saw my friends doing, and the competitive side of me came out.  The first time I ran for City Council, I lost.  But I tried again, and then I was on my way.”

JoAnn Davidson is revered by political woman not just for her service to the GOP, but for her generosity to other women.   JoAnn is the founder of her own leadership organization, The JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute which walks the walk of identifying and training outstanding women to take their place in the world of politics.  It is an eight-month program and over a hundred outstanding, well-trained Ohio women have graduated form Davidson’s Institute ready to serve.

“If there were more women in politics there would BE more negotiations. We would have more ability to reach CONCLUSIONS because our leadership style is different and our life experience is different.  The views of women need to be expressed on public policy.”  says Davidson.

Longtime colleagues of Mrs. Davidson pay her the highest of compliments.  Says Ohio Republican Party Vice Chair Kay Ayers:

“If we’re judged by that which we give back to our communities and the common good, then JoAnn Davidson is in a league all her own.  Her dedication to improving government and inspiring future leaders knows no bounds.”    Ohio State Republican Chair Kevin Dewine agrees, and calls JoAnn Davidson one of the great inspirations to women in politics:

“From the private sector, to academia, to the height of American politics, JoAnn Davidson has for years personified public service.  Her talents and selflessness to our great state is surpassed in size only by the legions of young women she has inspired to follow in her footsteps.”  says Dewine.

JoAnn Davidson is a woman who is not only welcomed in the highest levels of politics and strategy in then nation, but she has earned a seat at the table as a decision-maker.  Even in this contemporary age for women, that is a giant compliment.  Just ask Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who felt so isolated in Congress, that she found it necessary to  form her own “Tea Party Caucus.”

Mrs. Davidson says she discovered just how much influence women CAN have, when she ran for national Republican Party Co-Chair in 2005.

“If we are organized, we can influence.”  she says.   That’s just what Davidson has invested so much of herself and her time in doing:  organizing and building women.  The Kitchen Cabinet invited JoAnn Davidson to be one of its founding “Cabinet Secretaries” because of her devotion to public service.   She is a perfect counselor in building a national coalition of women leaders and she embraces the process and knows how to be patient in pursuit of success:

” I think we all get discouraged when the process is as slow as it is, but that doesn’t mean we can throw in the towel and say its not working.    It’s definitely worth it. but we’ve got to get more women involved and help them to realize that they can make a difference. “



2 Responses to “Women Changing America: JoAnn Davidson, A Pioneer, And A Leader of Women
October 3, 2011

  1. Please, keep up the good works! May God be with you!

  2. We are happy to link arms with heroines like JoAnn….and continue to try to change direction in America. Thanks so much for your support.