As a 1950s housewife and League of Women Voters volunteer who spearheaded the city of Lincoln's switch to a strong mayor form of government, Helen Boosalis (1919-2009) never anticipated that she herself would one day be that strong mayor and chief executive of Nebraska's capital city. Helen Boosalis's story, told by her daughter, Beth Boosalis Davis, is that of a true pioneer of women in politics. The daughter of Greek immigrants, Boosalis achieved national prominence as the first woman president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and as an outspoken advocate for ecomically distressed cities facing President Reagan's new federalism. Winning the Democratic mination for goverr of Nebraska in 1986, Helen Boosalis ran against Kay Orr in the first gubernatorial contest between two women in U.S. history. The interwoven tales of conflict and challenge, from the mayor's office to the campaign trail, combine personal insight into one woman's trailblazing political history with a compelling memoir of a half century of public service and private devotion shared by two remarkable women, mother and daughter. Listen to an interview with Helen Boosalis and Beth Boosalis Davis on AARP's Radio Prime Time show.
Beth Boosalis Davis is the daughter of former Lincoln mayor and gubernatorial candidate Helen Boosalis. She has practiced law in both the private and the public sectors, was executive director of the National Lekotek Center for children with disabilities, and serves on the boards of Carleton College, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Illinois Arts Council, and First Bank & Trust. Davis lives in Evanston, Illinois, where she was elected and served ten years on the city council.