Georgia Powers: When Georgia Powers arrived in Frankfort in 1967 as a newly elected senator, she could not get a room in a hotel as an African Americanwoman. Born October 19, 1923, in Springfield Kentucky, Senator Georgia Davis Powers became the first African American and the first woman to be elected to the Kentucky State Senate.
Even before she began her career as a senator, Georgia Powers was a Civil Rights movement leader in Kentucky. She was one of the key organizers of a statewide rally inMarch of 1964 in support of a law to make public accommodations accessible to all, regardless of race. This rally brought civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson to our state capitol. The public accommodations bill did not pass at this time, resulting in a starve-in in the House gallery.
Senator Powers was also the first black woman to serve on the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. As senator, she chaired two legislative committees, Health and Welfare (1970-76) and Labor and Industry (1978-88). During her five four-year terms, she pushed for legislation on public accommodations, open housing, and other issues of concern to people of color, women, children, and the poor. She fought for the Equal Rights Amendment resolution, the Displaced Homemaker's Law, and a law to increase the minimum wage in Kentucky.
In 1988, she retired from politics.