First Women Mayors Share Their Origin Story for Read Across America

·3 min read


ROCKVILLE, Md., March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- On March 2, 2022, classrooms and libraries will celebrate the National Education Association's (NEA) Read Across America (RAA) day. Several women mayors will share the compelling, true story of Susanna Salter's shocking election with students.

Karen M. Greenwald's non-fiction picture book, A Vote For Susanna, The First Woman Mayor (Albert Whitman) has stuck a chord with women mayors—especially since one third of major US cities have yet to elect one (Forbes). Irvine, California Mayor Farrah N. Khan explains, it "…is the story of so many of us that have broken barriers to be elected Mayors. As the first woman of color and Muslim Mayor for our city and region, being the first is just the beginning, it's keeping the door open so others can have a seat at the table too."

From a band of bullies to the cruelty of gender bias, and an 1887 city choosing between politics, party, and its destiny, A Vote For Susanna, feels modern. Called "[a]n engaging work of narrative nonfiction…" by School Library Journal, the story is told by a grandma in 1934 who remembers the saga. Susanna Salter's heroic defiance of a cruel joke cemented the first state law granting women election rights and made her an international symbol of hope for equity.

One-hundred thirty-five years later, Salter's media coverage feels contemporary. Instead of listing notable credentials, global papers initially detailed Salter's weight, hair, and dishwashing skill. In a 2020 viral TikTok video, Mayor Treva Hodges, PhD., Charlestown, Indiana's first woman mayor, revealed sexism she's faced. "Gee, what do I call you? Mrs. Mayor? Because Mayor doesn't just feel right with you being a woman…" a male vendor explained. "Well sir," Hodges replied, "if titles are that important to you, you can call me Dr. Mayor."

On March 2nd, Mayor Hodges will read A Vote For Susanna at four local events. Greenwald will join one over Zoom. The mayor plans to share her own related experiences with her young audiences. Thanks to a partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, Mayor Hodges will also distribute 110 copies of the book to students.

Twice elected Vancouver, Washington Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle calls A Vote for Susanna, "…an appealing true-life story that inspires all of us to aim higher while demonstrating the actions of how to reach those heights." Greenwald joined Vancouver's first ever woman mayor on a taped reading of the book for first graders.
Hodges also finds the book instructional, "Susanna's story is a wonderful tale of success in the face of adversity. Karen Greenwald's translation of Susanna's win into a children's book helps us remind our young girls and boys that everyone can stand up to bullies. It's inspiring to see."


Karen M. Greenwald, author of A Vote for Susanna, The First Woman Mayor (Albert Whitman), has won international awards for STEM creative, writing, video, rebranding, and self-promotion. Bylined credits include online, print magazines, and The Washington Post. A Vote For Susanna earned impressive reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. It spent eight months on four of Amazon's Hot New Releases lists for kids. A Mighty Girl included the book on their 2021 Books of the Year list. Greenwald and her book were featured on Kansas NBC affiliate's GoodDay Kansas!, at National Women's History Museum events, and Wichita's Kansas Day celebration. Greenwald co-founded #SunWriteFun—a writing contest that raises money for "kidlit" charities. Before launching her strategic branding boutique, Greenwald worked as an attorney. Learn more at:
Twitter: @karenmgreenwald

Media Contact:
Liza Fleissig

Media Contact

Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency, 240-360-0866,

SOURCE Karen M. Greenwald