Three social workers make ‘most influential’ list

Jul 22, 2015

By Rena Malai, News staff

Three social workers — U.S. Sen. Barbara Milkulski, D-Md.; Congressional Social Work Caucus Chairwoman U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. — are included in a book called “Powerful Women: The 25 Most Influential Women in Congress,” which congressional news provider CQ-Roll Call released in May.


The book lists the 25 women under seven categories: Party Power; Media Savvy; Debate Shapers and Swing Votes; Policy Dealmakers; Policy Workhorses; Breaking Out; and Freshmen on the Rise.

NASW Senior Field Organizer Dina Kastner said having social workers on the list shows they are recognized for the skills they bring to the table on Capitol Hill.

“This highlights what we know about social workers: that they are great communicators, advocators and negotiators,” Kastner said. “NASW works with the social work members of Congress to champion legislation, and it is great to have such powerhouses on our team.”

Lee, who is listed in the category Debate Shapers and Swing Votes, said women represent just 20 percent of Congress members, and similar statistics hold true for state legislatures and local elected offices.

“We must do more to empower women and girls to take action, be part of the political conversation and seek elected office,” she said.

Lee added that she often reminds non-social worker colleagues that they should read the NASW Code of Ethics, because it is an excellent guide for policymakers, especially members of Congress.

“We need to get more social workers elected to Congress and empower all social workers to have a strong voice in the policies and priorities of our nation,” Lee said. “This is the best way to ensure that our nation’s top priority is protecting and empowering the most vulnerable.”

From the July 2015 NASW News. NASW members can read the full story here.