Mary E. Richards

Honored by:League of Women Voters of Ames
Brick location:A:24  map

Donated by the League of Women Voters of Ames, Iowa. 5/23/1999

Mary Richards first joined the League of Women Voters in Lansing, Michigan, in the early 1960s while her husband was in graduate school, and she was at home with three small daughters. One of her activities there was lobbying for League positions at the Michigan legislature. When the family moved to Ames in 1969, she became a member of the Ames League, and continued to do League lobbying, this time at the Iowa Legislature.

She served on the LWV Ames board in the early seventies, and, inspired by League work and League activism (and also by an MSU professor who had told her that Leaguers were "a bunch of meddling housewives"), she enrolled in law school with the objective of being able to meddle with some clout!

After law school she worked at the Legislative Service Bureau. She then served five terms (20 years) as Story County Attorney. In 1992 she was one of 12 members on the Reform Committee on Government Ethics and Procedure that proposed major changes in campaign finance in Iowa. Many of the proposals were passed into law by the Iowa Legislature.

Mary is also a musician. She is an accomplished pianist; she sings with "Good Company" a women's choral group; and she plays the harp with the Onion Creek Cloggers Band.

Submitted on 3/1/01