For Immediate ReleaseDate: January 4, 2017
Mayor Pro-Tempore Carolyn H. Bell of Savannah, GA, was awarded the 2016 Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Leadership Award during an annual leadership luncheon on Friday, November 18, at the National League of Cities' (NLC) City Summit in Pittsburgh. Mayor Pro-Tem Bell was celebrated as a trailblazer in her community and for her role in improving the lives of women and youth in Savannah.
"I am honored to receive this award today and to remain committed to working with my colleagues and our partners to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of our community," said Bell. "Summer 500 was an awesome launch of public-private-partnerships and we look forward to continued engagement of all sectors of the community."
The WIMG Leadership Award recognizes female municipal officials for individual achievement in initiating creative and successful programs in municipal government that help citizens, particularly if the leadership serves as a model for future female leaders. The award also seeks to promote increased representation of women in local government and is designed to encourage more women to run for elected municipal office.
Bell has served on Council since 2012, and as Mayor Pro Tem since 2016. She has developed and implemented several programs to help engage her constituents. She has advocated for collaboration and has forged partnerships to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of the community.
She initiated "Ask an Alderman," partnering with each of the district's aldermen to take the elected officials and City staff to the people to give them an opportunity to voice their concerns and file service requests for issues in their districts. She also helped launch the Mayor's summer internship program — Summer 500 — for rising high school seniors. The effort, created on behalf of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem Bell, sought to lower the escalating crime rates among the community youth. The program helped contribute to a reduction in crime and incarceration rates by more than 20% in its first year.
Mayor Pro Tem Bell serves on the Advisory Committee of the University of Georgia's Graduate School and the Masters in Public Administration Program and acts as a role model for students in the program. She also participates in mentoring activities with the Savannah Chapter of The Links, one of the nation's oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
WIMG is a constituency group of NLC. It was formed in 1974 to serve as a forum for communication and networking among women municipal officials and their colleagues interested in addressing women's issues. It strives to raise awareness about issues of concern to women and encourages women to seek public office in their communities.