Grace Drake, a former Ohio Senator and current Director of the Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service at Cleveland State University, has received the 2010 Bliss Institute Public Leadership Award.
In delivering the keynote address at the “Women in Ohio Politics” Luncheon presented by the University of Akron’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and the Women’s Studies Coordinating Council, Drake said she viewed UA as her second home, second only to Cleveland State University where she serves as Executive in Residence at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.
Drake is a firm believer that women should get involved in their government, and that was the main focus of her keynote address.
"Everybody has to be a part of their government," she said. “Anybody who doesn't feel like they can do something at a state level can start at a local level. They should run for council and build themselves up for running for office.” Leaving no excuses for individuals to not get involved, she encouraged attendees to begin their political involvement by volunteering for a campaign.
"You can learn a lot in school, but you need to be out there working in the trenches to know what goes on in a campaign," she said.
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Grace Drake served in the Ohio Senate from 1984 through 2000, representing the eastern/southern portion of Cuyahoga County and all of Medina and Wayne counties. Today, as Executive in Residence at CSU’s Levin College, she serves as Director of the Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service which works to promote the advancement of the careers of women and men in public service within the three branches of government at the national, state and local levels. She is also the Chairwoman of the Executive Committee for the Cuyahoga County Republican Party.
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