First Woman Mayor of Lincoln,
First Woman President of Conference, Receives Distinguished Nebraskan
Helen Boosalis, a former mayor
of Lincoln and former President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors, is the
recipient of the 36th annual Distinguished Nebraskan Award. The award was
presented October 18 by Nebraska Senator Bob Kerry during a Washington
reception for Boosalis hosted by the Nebraska Society of Washington, D.C.
Tributes were offered by the State’s other Senator, Chuck Hagel, by
other members of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation, and by other
Congressional leaders, including Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes.
Boosalis served for 16 years
on the Lincoln City Council and for eight years as the City’s mayor.
Elected in 1975 as Lincoln’s first woman chief executive, she is
credited with expanding the City’s economic and cultural base, improving
public safety, and initiating the revitalization of the downtown area. In
1981, she became the first woman President of the Conference of Mayors.
Following her years of service
to her city and to cities nationally, Boosalis shifted her focus to state
government. Immediately upon leaving City Hall, she was picked by
then-Governor Bob Kerry to head the State’s Department on Aging. In 1986
she was the Democratic candidate for governor. In recent years she has
chaired the national board of the American Association of Retired Persons,
has served on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation,
on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Securities and Exchange
Commission, and on a long list of state and local boards and commissions.