|Member of the Nebraska Senate
from the 9th district
|Preceded by||Chip Maxwell|
|Succeeded by||Sara Howard|
June 24, 1945 |
Douglas County, Nebraska
|Alma mater||University of Nebraska|
She was born on June 24, 1945, in Douglas County, Nebraska and graduated from Omaha Benson High School in 1963. She then went on the graduate from Midland Lutheran College in sociology and psychology in 1967, University of Nebraska in 1974 with a master's degree in social work. She was married and had two daughters, Carrie and Sara Howard. Her husband, David Howard, was killed in an auto accident in 1981. Her oldest daughter, Carrie Howard, a long-time Democratic activist, died on March 23, 2009, at age 33. Her younger daughter Sara succeeded her mother in the Nebraska Legislature due to term limitations. Gwen Howard is accredited by both the National Association of Social Workers and by the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
Howard is running for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district. Howard is pro-education, pro-labor, and pro-choice. The last Democrat to serve the Second District, Rep. Peter Hoagland, who was pro-labor and pro-choice. The last federal candidate to win Nebraska's Second Congressional District was Barack Obama.
In spite of her status as a Democrat in the Republican-dominated Nebraska Unicameral Legislature, Howard has a record of legislative accomplishment. She repealed the sales tax on home repairs, expanded the property tax homestead exemptions for seniors and the disabled, and created new consumer protections in the nursing home industry, passed anti-bullying legislation to make schools safer and passed an early intervention program in which Visiting Nurses provide in-home training for parents of at-risk newborns.
Howard was a leading voice in opposition to Rep. Lee Terry's signature legislation in 2011, his bill that would have loosened rules regarding automated calls to personal mobile phones. After 48 state attorneys general came out against the bill, Terry was forced to withdraw his legislation.
Senator Howard provided an early voice warning of Governor Dave Heineman's child welfare privatization scandal. She has won numerous awards for her service in the Legislature as an advocate for taxpayers, children and youth, education and seniors.
Howard serves as vice-chair of the Education Committee and as a member of the Health and Human Services Committee.
Howard spent much of her career as a social worker, specializing in adoptions. She graduated from Omaha Benson High School and is now a member of the school's Hall of Fame. She earned a degree in sociology and psychology from Midland Lutheran College and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska. She remains accredited by both the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
She was elected in 2004 to represent the 9th Nebraska legislative district. She served on the Education and Health and Human Services committees.
- "Nebraska Unicameral Legislature". Sen. Gwen Howard. Retrieved March 17, 2009.