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Women in Leadership

Substance Abuse Expert is Co-chair of Crime, Justice, Terrorism, & Substance Abuse Policy Committee in Group for Women Legislators

Jayden Adams asked:

Asked to support and assist these legislators, Rick Pendery brings his 30 years of expertise to the group, aiding with programs and activities that make a difference in legislation.

As a leader and executive in the field of substance abuse for over three decades, Rick Pendery was asked by the National Foundation of Women Legislators (NFWL) to co-chair the NFWL’s Crime, Justice, Terrorism, & Substance Abuse Policy Committee. This faction of the group assists with that specific part of the NFWL’s undertaking, which is to provide strategic resources to women leaders for leadership development and effective governance through conferences, effective seminars, issue education materials, professional and personal relationships, and networking at both the state and federal levels.

The National Foundation of Women Legislators (originally called National Order of Women Legislators) was founded in 1938 and is a non-partisan organization whose membership is made up of women serving as current state legislators and former state legislators. Today, there are over 1600 women state legislators nationwide.

Needing assistance from professionals outside the political world, Pendery has been a co-chair of one of the most vital committees in the foundation since 2001. The Policy Committee on Crime, Justice, Terrorism, and Substance Abuse has been looking at a variety of substance abuse issues, including youth demand reduction programs, prison rehabilitation programs and medical treatments for abusers. The committee also works on human trafficking, child abuse, homeland security and other pressing issues. The Legislative Chair, Representative Phyllis Katsakiores of New Hampshire works closely with Pendery.

NFWL is based on the concept that the greatest rising force in American politics is not a political party, a lobbying community or an ethnic group. They feel it is women. Thirty years ago, women held a mere four percent of all state legislative seats in the country: Today they hold twenty-two percent—1652 seats! They also hold three Governorships, 19 Lt. Governorships and 65 seats in the US Congress, including nine Senators and 56 Representatives. Women chair numerous committees, influence policy, pass legislation and determine the outcome of elections.

The Foundation intellectually equips sitting women legislators to mold public opinion and for the legislative debates in their respective state houses, senates and assemblies. As a non-profit 501c3, the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) does not take ideological positions on any current issue, but rather exists to assist women leaders in the process of legislative debate, networking, re-elections, public opinion molding and leadership.

NFWL’s Crime, Justice, Terrorism, & Substance Abuse Policy Committee has recently partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice on the Project Safe Childhood initiative where NFWL’s Shoulder to Shoulder Team Leaders will work with the U.S. Attorneys in every state to create and implement plans to apprehend predators who target children. This Committee will also spend the year building on NFWL’s Call to ACTION (Assign, Communicate, Train, Initiate, Oversee, Network) which was introduced last March and addresses the homeland security concerns facing the United States, including raising awareness about the importance of establishing a “culture of preparedness.”

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