Fayette County

Kentucky leaders remember Georgia Davis Powers

Here are some of the tributes from Kentucky leaders following the death of Georgia Davis Powers.

“On this day of her earthly passing, we pause to reflect upon and celebrate the extraordinary life of Kentucky Sen. Georgia Powers. She will long be remembered for breaking down barriers to advance the cause of civil rights here in the Commonwealth and across our nation. In her role as a legislator, she boldly fought discrimination and dedicated her life to making her community and state better for all citizens. May history be forever mindful of, and may all Kentuckians strive to emulate, her courage, conviction and willingness to serve."

— Gov. Matt Bevin

“Former Senator Powers personified the very things that every legislator strives for. She was a powerful voice for those she served; she was a leader who never stopped rallying others to join her in making Kentucky a better place; and she proved to be an enduring inspiration for others called to public service. Those of us lucky enough to know her will never forget her smile, her wit and the fire she had that warmed us all. She will be missed.”

— House Speaker Greg Stumbo

“She had her core values of what is right and always stuck with them.”

— Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville NAACP and longtime friend who ran her first campaign in 1967.

Powers was “an iconic, all-encompassing symbol of strength and determination to overcome wrongs.”

— Sen. Gerald Neal, a Louisville Democrat who succeeded Powers in her Senate seat.

“I found her to be one of the brightest individuals I've ever worked with. She always was on top of the issues. When she spoke, you listened and she always did her homework. (Powers was) one of the great leaders of our time, not only for the African American community but for all working people, the downtrodden, the needy.”

— Sen. Julian Carroll, former governor, lieutenant governor and Senate president

“She was a committed to making a Kentucky a better place to reside for all of its citizens. Clearly, she was not afraid to ask difficult questions and seek solutions to answers to problems involving race, class, or gender. She holds an influential and undeniable place in Kentucky history.”

— Gerald Smith, University of Kentucky history professor

“She has to be the most prominent and most vocal spokesperson for African American rights in Kentucky.”

— James Klotter, the state historian.

“No one can deny the pioneering civil rights power of Senator Powers. Those of us who continue to strive for fairness, equity, and racial justice stand on the shoulders of her legacy.”

— Chris Hartman, director, Kentucky Fairness Campaign

“Senator Powers was one of our greatest civil rights leaders and one of the grand women of this and the last century from our state. We have lost a cherished, beloved Kentucky daughter and a champion.”

— John J. Johnson, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights executive director

“Georgia Powers leaves behind a city and Commonwealth that are fairer and offer more opportunity because of her lifelong dedication to the fight for justice.”

— U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville

“Let us each carry on her passion for equality for all.”

— Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

“She was a strong and energetic woman; truly a trailblazer for the civil rights movement in Kentucky.”

— Kentucky State Senate President Robert Stivers

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