Politics & Government

Georgia Powers, self-described advocate for the ‘voiceless,’ honored at Capitol memorial service

Memorial for Georgia Powers

Kentucky state senator Georgia Powers honored during memorial service at state capital.
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Kentucky state senator Georgia Powers honored during memorial service at state capital.

Dignitaries, family members and friends filled the august Capitol Rotunda Thursday afternoon to memorialize civil rights leader and former state Sen. Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers of Louisville, who died Saturday at the age of 92.

Renee Shaw of Kentucky Educational Television, who emceed the more than hour-long ceremony, called it a “celebration of a long life lived well.”

Democratic state Sen. Gerald Neal of Louisville, who succeeded Powers in the Kentucky Senate, said Powers not only walked with civil rights giants, such as Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson, but she was a “giant” in righting wrongs.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes called Powers “a national pioneer” in civil rights, and Democratic state Rep. Darryl Owens of Louisville said of Powers, “No one I have ever known had such impact on my life.”

Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse noted Power’s love and work for the traditionally black university.

Powers’ close friend, Louisville NAACP President Raoul Cunningham, said Powers supported legislation to give voting rights to non-violent felons who have served their time. He encouraged Gov. Matt Bevin, who was in the audience, to back the proposal, too.

Other officials at the service included former Govs. Martha Layne Collins and Julian Carroll, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198, @BGPolitics

Funeral details

The funeral service for Georgia Davis Powers will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Stephen Church , 1018 S. 15th St., in Louisville.