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The Honorable Wilma J. Webb

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Information about The Honorable Wilma J. Webb

Profile image of The Honorable Wilma J. Webb

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak, Mexican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
The only statement better than 'just do it' is 'we just did it.'

Birthplace

Born:
5/17/1943
Birth Location:
Denver, Colorado

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak, Mexican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
The only statement better than 'just do it' is 'we just did it.'

Birthplace

Born:
5/17/1943
Birth Location:
Denver
See how The Honorable Wilma J. Webb is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Wilma Webb, the First Lady of Denver, Colorado, was born in that same city in 1943. Webb's mother, Faye, was a nurse's assistant and her father, Frank Gerdine, worked for the Federal Government.

When she married Wellington Webb in 1969, Webb was already active in school reform and was a co-founder of the Committee on Greater Opportunity. In 1973, Webb became a Democratic Committeewoman and served as the Democratic Party secretary; the editor of the Democratic State Newsletter; and the chair of the Democratic Committee on Housing.

Webb became a member of the Colorado Legislature in 1980; while in office, she became the first minority woman on the Colorado Joint Budget Committee. Webb sponsored forty-four bills, eleven of which passed, including the Comprehensive Anti-Drug Abuse Program; Elderly Frail People to Receive Care at Home as Opposed to Nursing Home Placement; and Improvement of Living Conditions for Troubled Youth. In one of her hardest battles, Webb fought for four years before the State of Colorado adopted the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.

Webb worked hand in hand with her husband in a historic grassroots mayoral campaign in which the couple walked all over the city, resulting in Wellington Webb becoming the first African American mayor of Denver in 1991. Denver's First Lady worked tirelessly on anti-drug abuse programs and youth and family issues. Webb's efforts to promote the arts resulted in the creation of the Denver Art, Culture, and Film Foundation in 1994. In 1998, Webb became the first woman to serve in the U.S. Department of Labor as the primary official for Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming; her duties included the administration and enforcement of federal statutes governing workplace activities, including pension rights, health benefits, and job training.

Webb traveled widely in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa and held a graduate degree from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. Webb was honored with several hundred national and statewide commendations, including the National Education Association's Carter G. Woodson Award for Human and Civil Rights; the Association for Retarded Citizen's Legislator of the Year Award; and the Colorado Banking Association's Political Award. Webb also held memberships in the Zion Baptist Church; Delta Sigma Theta sorority; and the Links. Webb and her husband also raised four children.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wilma Webb interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wilma Webb's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wilma Webb describes her parents' backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wilma Webb remembers going to school in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wilma Webb describes the close-knit community of Five Points in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wilma Webb recalls her family's struggle against discrimination
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wilma Webb describes her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wilma Webb discusses family life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wilma Webb describes her family's church involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wilma Webb describes social life in her childhood community of Five Points, Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wilma Webb describes her connection to the Five Points community, Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wilma Webb discusses segregation in Denver, Colorado schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wilma Webb comments on her family as motivation for her political involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wilma Webb discusses the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wilma Webb recalls instances of race discrimination in employment and education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wilma Webb remembers Denver, Colorado school board official Rachel B. Noel
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wilma Webb describes her courtship with future Denver, Colorado mayor, Wellington Webb
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wilma Webb describes her ascent in Denver, Colorado's Democratic Party
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wilma Webb describes the role of trust in her political career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wilma Webb discusses the Jane Jefferson Democratic Club
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wilma Webb discusses the political careers of her husband and herself
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wilma Webb recalls her 1980 election to the Colorado state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wilma Webb recalls her beginnings in Colorado's House of Representatives
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wilma Webb discusses her record as a member of the Colorado state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wilma Webb recounts the battle for a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in Colorado
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wilma Webb discusses highlights in her legislative career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wilma Webb explains her career changes after her husband's election as mayor of Denver
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wilma Webb recalls her term as the First Lady of Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wilma Webb describes Denver, Colorado's emphasis on the arts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wilma Webb discusses balancing motherhood and a public career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wilma Webb describes how she'd like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wilma Webb discusses her parents' responses to her success
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wilma Webb discusses racism and sexism as it relates to being the First Lady of Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wilma Webb dispels claims of her shyness
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Wilma Webb expresses her hopes for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Wilma Webb expresses her gratitude to supporters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Mayor Wellington Webb at the groundbreaking of Denver, Colorado's Centennial Park
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Groundbreaking for Denver, Colorado's Centennial Park, 2002
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Wellington Webb, with family members, sworn in as auditor of Denver, Denver, Colorado, 1987
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Wellington Webb with Wilma Webb and her parents, Denver, Colorado, 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Harry Belafonte, Julie Belafonte, Wilma Webb and Wellington Webb, Denver, Colorado, ca. 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Wellington Web, President Bill Clinton and Wilma Webb at the White House, Washington, D.C., 1998
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Wellington Webb and Wilma Webb at the renaming of a building, Denver Colorado
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Wilma Webb, Denver, Colorado, 1995
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Mayor Wellington Webb and First Lady Wilma Webb unveil the Minoru Yasui bust, Denver, Colorado, ca. 1996
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Wilma Webb in the chambers of the Colorado House of Representatives, Denver, Colorado, 1998
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Wilma Webb with three Denver, Colorado mayors at a dedication event
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Wilma Webb with other essay contest finalists, Denver, Colorado, ca. 1955
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Wilma Webb with two Denver, Colorado First Ladies at a dedication event
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Mrs. Minoru Yasui during dedication ceremonies, Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Wilma Webb presents MC Hammer with an appreciation award, 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Hugh Price of the Urban League
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Mayor Wellington Webb with wife, Wilma Webb in the Denver, Colorado mayor's office, July 1991
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Mayor Wellington Webb and Wilma Webb with the Commodores at an inaugural celebration, Denver, Colorado, July 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Wilma Webb with the first ladies of African nations meeting in Accra, Ghana, 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - Wilma Webb with First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of Ghana, Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Alexis Herman, U.S. Secretary of Labor, Denver, Colorado, 1998
  • Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Nick LeMasters at an exhibition opening, Denver, Colorado, ca, 1996
  • Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Hillary Rodham Clinton on Bill Clinton's presidential campaign trail, Denver, Colorado, 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Vice President Al Gore, Denver, Colorado, 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo - Wilma Webb introduces Hillary Rodham Clinton at an event
  • Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photo - Wilma Webb takes an art tour across the U.S., 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 27 - Photo - Wellington Webb and Wilma Webb at her re-election campaign for state representative, Denver, Colorado, 1985
  • Tape: 6 Story: 28 - Photo - Wilma Webb with a member of the Commodores at Mayor Wellington Webb's inaugural ball, Denver, Colorado, July 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 29 - Photo - Wilma Webb presents an award to a veteran public servant, Denver, Colorado, 1998
  • Tape: 6 Story: 30 - Photo - Wilma Webb introduces the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexis Herman, 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 31 - Photo - Wilma Webb and Wellington Webb visit city officials in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ca. 2001
  • Tape: 6 Story: 32 - Photo - Wilma Webb, Wellington Webb, and Denver City Council members visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, ca. 2001
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Photo - Wilma Webb with Coretta Scott King, 1985
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Photo - Wilma Webb and Wellington Webb with Coretta Scott King, 1985
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Photo - Wilma Webb and Wellington Webb with pianist Dave Brubeck, 1986
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Photo - Wilma Webb speaks at the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center in Denver, 1986
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Photo - Wilma Webb witnesses Wellington Webb being sworn in as mayor of Denver, Colorado, July 1, 1991
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Photo - President Bill Clinton, Wellington Webb, and Wilma Webb at a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, 1994