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Are you ready to move Louisiana forward? Then, think about who you are voting for in the legislative races on Oct. 12.

If you are ready to change the state, then consider that the energy in the room changes when the women walk in to add their voices, their insights, their life experiences to the discussion. Louisiana voters have a chance to change the energy in the Louisiana Legislature.

When you are reviewing the legislative candidates, please take a minute and focus on the qualifications and experience of the women candidates.

The women are talented, educated, committed and competent. They understand the challenges facing families, education and business. They are wives, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and leaders in their churches and communities. Many have participated in the EMERGE training program and programs through the political parties and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Many are graduates of local and statewide leadership programs. These women are teachers, lawyers, nonprofit executives, college professors, philanthropists, scientists, doctors and business owners.

When I was elected to the Legislature in 1991, there were eight women elected, of 144 members. Unfortunately, Louisiana still ranks near the bottom in the number of elected women according to the Reflective Democracy initiative of the Women Donors Network.

As we celebrate the life of Cokie Roberts, we need to remember her book “Founding Mothers” and the message of Abigail Adams who wrote to her husband in 1776, “... remember the ladies ... If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Melissa Flournoy

former legislator

Baton Rouge

Mary Landrieu: Gov. Kathleen Blanco was a trailblazer for women in Louisiana