|Member of the Colorado Senate|
from the 33rd district
|Colorado House of Representatives|
July 16, 1935
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Theodore Ralph Tanner|
|Occupation||Journalist, real estate agent|
Gloria Travis Tanner (born July 16, 1935) is a former United States politician and public figure. In 1994 she became the first African American woman to serve as a Colorado state senator. In 2000 she founded a leadership and training institute for black women in Colorado. She was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 2002.
Early life and education
Before attending college, she was an administrative assistant for the Office of Hearings and Appeals at the United States Department of the Interior from 1967 to 1972. She reported for the Denver Weekly News, an African American newspaper, from 1972 to 1976, and also worked as a real estate agent.
In 1976 Tanner began working as the executive assistant to Colorado lieutenant governor George L. Brown. In 1978 she became executive director of communications for Colorado state senator Regis Groff.
She successfully ran for a seat in the Colorado State House of Representatives for the 7th district in 1985. She became the second African American to fill a leadership position in the house with her election as House Minority Caucus leader in 1987, a position she held until 1990. Upon the resignation of Groff in 1994, Tanner was appointed to replace him. This appointment made her the first African American woman state senator in Colorado history. Representing District 33 as a Democrat, she served as a member of the senate's joint budget committee and "sponsored and passed significant legislation pertaining to civil rights for women and minorities, marital discrimination in the workplace, parental responsibility, workers' compensation cost savings, and parental rights for adoptive parents". She retired from the senate as of January 1, 2001.
Leadership and training institute
In October 2000 she announced the establishment of the Senator Gloria Tanner Leadership and Training Institute for Future Black Women Leaders of Colorado. This institute grooms black women to serve in the state government, on commissions, and on boards.
Tanner was the instigator and co-founder of Colorado Black Women for Political Action, founded in 1977, and past chair of the Colorado Caucus of Black Elected Officials. In 1998 she was elected president of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislators/Women.
Awards and honors
Tanner was named "2000 Legislator of the Year" by the Colorado Association of Community Centered Boards, and was a co-winner of "Legislator of the Year" by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association in 1998. She received the "Leadership Denver" award from the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.
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- Jackson, Bob (October 8, 2000). "Senator Announces Start of Leadership Institute". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved January 30, 2016. (Subscription required (. ))
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- "Congressional Record Vol. 146-Part 2: Proceedings and Debates of the 106th Congress Second Session". Government Printing Office. February 29, 2000. p. 1783. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
- Sanbonmatsu 2010, p. 141.
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- "Tribute Dinner Honors Retiring Sen. Tanner". Rocky Mountain News. October 24, 2000. Retrieved January 30, 2016. (Subscription required (. ))
- Beaton, Gail M. (2012). Colorado Women: A History. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 1457173824.
- Noel, Thomas J. (2015). Colorado: A Historical Atlas. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0806153539.
- Sanbonmatsu, Kira (2010). Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0472025651.
- "Gloria Tanner's admirers flock to One Glorious Occasion" The Denver Post, October 22, 2000
- Colorado Women's Hall of Fame