Our original charter states that, there shall be a Division on the status of women. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Erie county, New York, to eliminate discrimination in any form that may exist on account of gender; to fully utilize the potential of each citizen, regardless of gender, in order to preserve our democratic way of life; and to provide equal opportunities to all citizens, regardless of gender, in employment, education, health and mental health, housing, senior and social services, and before the law. The director of said division shall be appointed by and shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner. The division shall:
- Work to ensure that the women of Erie County participate fully in matters that have an impact on their lives.
- Develop an information system for services relating to the needs of women, and develop other networks and referral programs as necessary;
- Investigate and analyze resources and services available for women within county government and programs funded by the county and recommend measures to coordinate, consolidate or expand those resources and services to provided maximum efficiency;
- Submit an annual report of its activities and recommendations to the county executive and county Legislature.
- Education and Public Awareness: Annual Calendar of events including educational and networking events commenorating Women's History Month
- Health and Well-Being: Annual "Break the Cycle" event to raise awareness about domestic and interpersonal violence held in Isle View Park, Tonawanda, NY
- Leadership and Empowerment:
- Supports women business owners in certification process for city and county contracts
- Educational and Support Services for Women Business Owners booklet
- Education and Awareness events on the issue of Pay Equity
The Commission was established by a unanimous vote of the Erie County Legislature in 1987 to remove gender based inequities for women. In 1988, the Commission became a department of Erie County government.
The Commission conducts policy studies; analyzes current legislation, programs and trends impacting women; develops collaborative programs with local and regional organizations and public officials; provides educational awareness; and recommends measures to coordinate, consolidate or expand the resources and services available to women in Erie County. Click here to see Recent Commission Reports.
Board of Directors
The Commission is currently composed of 14 members: 10 appointed by the County Executive and two appointed by the County Legislature. Ex-officio members are drawn from various County departments, and include former members and executive directors.
Executive Director: Karen L. King, PhD
Commission Members 2018
Commission Chair: Joelle Logue
Commission Co- Chair: Gail Riley
Fiscal Advocate: Diana Cihak
- Deborah Billoni
- Hope Hoetzer-cook
- Beth Holleran
- Gamileh Jamil
- Faye Martinear
- Tamara Lewis
- Betsy Drewniak
- Heidi Romer
- Judith Olin
- Cheryll Moore
- Karen Rybicki