|Honored by:||League of Women Voters of Ames & Story County|
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The League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County is pleased to honor Linda Murken with its 2016 Carrie Chapman Catt Award.
Linda began her career in the State of Iowa corrections field in 1973. The first woman parole officer in Iowa to supervise male clients, she was soon appointed the first executive director of the Second Judicial District Department of Community Based Corrections. Linda was the only woman director, and remained the only one, until a few years before her retirement in 2010. As director she was instrumental in the development of treatment programs for domestic abusers and for sex offenders. Her goal was always to keep offenders out of prison and in the community where available services were much more likely than a prison sentence to promote and effect reform. Highly regarded by her peers, in 2010 Linda received the Iowa Corrections Association’s Larry Brimeyer Exceptional Leadership Development Award.
When Linda retired, she quickly became actively involved in the League of Women Voters of Ames and with the League of Women Voters of Iowa Justice Coalition, which works on justice issues at the Capitol. She combines her professional knowledge with her passion for League justice positions to advocate for restoring rights to those who successfully complete their sentences in the corrections system.
In 2012 Linda took office as president-elect on the board of directors of the Ames League. Becoming president in 2014, she mentored new board members, increased League visibility in the community through new voter service projects, worked to improve our website and encouraged electronic communications, and moved the Ames League toward becoming a countywide organization. Then in 2015, serving on the Ames board as past president, she spearheaded VOTE 411, a web-based, know-the-candidates project that serves the general public. Today, Linda serves not only on the Ames board as the legislative action co-chair, but also on the League of Women Voters of Iowa board. At the state level, she represents the League on the steering committee of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. As one of her nominators said, "Linda is amazing in her commitment to League and her willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ in a way not often seen in a volunteer."
Linda's contributions to the community are many. She has served on the Gilbert Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Services Board, the Board of ACCESS, and as a board member of ACLU of Iowa. She is a member of NAMI and volunteers at the ACCESS shelter for victims of domestic violence. In 2016 she was appointed to the Story County Planning and Zoning Commission.