Farmer, Connell to be honored by YWCA

Apr 9, 2013

The YWCA Rhode Island is out with its 5th annual Women Holding Office Celebration. This year the YWCA will honor two path-breaking Rhode Island women political figures with the Isabelle Ahearn O’Neill award. Republican Susan L. Farmer, who in 1982 became the first woman elected to a statewide office in Rhode Island when she was elected secretary of state, and Kathleen S. Connell, who became the first Democratic woman to win statewide office when she was elected secretary of state in 1986.

``YWCA recognizes that women will be fully empowered only when they have equal political power, the power to change the laws, challenge the status quo and right the wrongs of the past through informed voting, issue advocacy and political leadership,’’ said Deborah L.. Perry, CEO of the YWCA.

The award honors the memory of  O’Neill, of Providence, who in 1922 became the first women elected to the R.I. House of Representatives. She later served as a state senator.

The YMCA will also award Rising Star honors to two current female office holders, Suzy Alba, a member of the Smithfield Town Council, and Kristine Trocki, president of the Jamestown Town Council.

The awards will be presented at an event on Monday, April 29th, between 6 and 8 p.m. at the Kirkbrae Country Club at 197 Old River Road in Lincoln.

Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley, the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council, will deliver the keynote speech. For ticket information, call 401-769-7450 or visit