Davidson County, TN August 5, 1999 Special
Smart Voter

Full Biography for Bill Purcell

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Bill Purcell will be a new mayor for a new century. A former East Nashville lawmaker and leader in the state legislature, Purcell is committed to maintaining safety in our neighborhoods, improving our schools and encouraging a quality of life that reflects our values.

Purcell is the Director of the Child and Family Policy Center at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, a nationally-recognized center building a bridge between academic research, politics and best practice to benefit children and their families.

He and his wife Debbie and their daughter Jesse, a sixth-grade student at Meigs Magnet School, live in East Nashville's Lockeland Springs neighborhood.

Purcell was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1986. He became the first urban legislator elected Majority Leader of the House of Representatives in 1990. After serving five terms in the General Assembly, he left the legislature to devote more attention to issues affecting families and children.

Purcell consults and speaks to federal, state and local policymakers across the United States on issues affecting families and children. He also participates in a host of conferences across the nation involving children's issues. Among the groups Purcell has addressed are programs for the National Governor's Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, American Association of University Women, and the White House Teleconference on Child Care.

Purcell currently serves as chair of the Advisory Board for the Danforth Foundation's Policymakers' Program. He also serves on several other boards including Project PENCIL, Kennedy Center Leadership Council, Child Protective Services Advisory Council of the National Conference of State Legislatures and Harvard Executive Session on Child Protective Services.

A former House Majority Leader for the Tennessee General Assembly and former chairman of the Select Committee on Children and youth, Purcell's efforts in the legislature put him at the forefront of a host of reforms in education, criminal sentencing, health care, and workers compensation. During his tenure as a member of House Leadership, Tennessee was twice ranked the "Best Managed State" in the country. The state also earned distinction as the lowest tax state in America.

Throughout his service in the House, Purcell placed a special emphasis on legislation affecting Tennessee's families and children. During his seven years as chairman of the Select Committee on Children and Youth, he steered legislation through the General Assembly to provide maternity leave, create America's first statewide family preservation program, reduce the number of high school dropouts,promote Family Resource Centers in Tennessee schools, and encourage immunization of children by providing free vaccines.

An attorney by profession, Purcell received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. He holds an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College.

For more information about Bill Purcell and his campaign for Mayor, please visit our web site at http://www.purcellmayor.org

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