Nan’s Legislative Philospohy
Nan has demonstrated her commitment to the values of hard-working families and communities with her votes on thousands of legislative proposals and hundreds of billions of dollars in state budgets during her 31 years of service in the State Legislature.
Nan’s vision is of a Georgia that enhances our lives, energizes our communities, teaches our children, and respects our values. In a time that challenges so many of the things that once made us secure, we can feel absolutely secure about this: Nan Orrock will fight for our Georgia, the Georgia that works for us.
Nan got her start in politics through the Civil Rights Movement. She stepped into the Movement when she stepped into the streets on Aug. 28, 1963 to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. She went on to work for SNCC in Atlanta and Mississippi, led a community civil rights project in Virginia’s Black Belt counties, helped launch an alternative newspaper and joined women’s empowerment efforts in Atlanta.
Before running for office, she worked seventeen years for Nabisco and was active in the Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco Union. Nan has lived in Ormewood Park for 30 years. She has two grown sons, Danny and Jesse, who attended Atlanta Public Schools, graduating from Grady High School.
Senator Nan Orrock was elected by Atlanta voters to the Georgia Senate in 2006, after serving 10 terms in the House of Representatives, where she was the first woman elected as House majority whip. She also served as the Governor’s Floor Leader, a committee chair, and a member of the Speaker’s Policy Committee. Her Senate District 36 encompasses downtown Atlanta, stretching north to Lenox Square, south to the city limits and west to the MARTA north-south line.
Orrock’s Senate committee appointments include Higher Education, Urban Affairs, Health and Human Services, Science and Technology, and Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. Her legislative expertise encompasses health policy, women’s issues, civil rights and civil liberties, workforce issues, and the environment. She is a founder of both the Georgia Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Working Families Caucus, and former chair of the Labor Workforce Standing Committee of the National Caucus of State Legislatures. Her leadership has been recognized by a wide array of organizations.
Orrock’s engagement on public policy issues dates back to her participation in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, an experience that has led to a lifetime of activism and shaped her strong commitment to bringing the voices of women and other disenfranchised groups into the public arena.
Orrock is the president of Women Legislators’ Lobby, a national women legislator network that advocates for federal policies to reduce wasteful military spending and to improve the underfunded services to families, children, the disabled and the elderly. In recognition of her advocacy for the disabled, she received the 2008 Legislative Leadership Award by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Her recent board service includes the Sapelo Foundation, the Center for Policy Alternatives, WAND, the YWCA, Executive Committee of Democratic Party of Georgia, National Advisory Committee on IWPR Report on Women in the South, and the Institute of Energy and Environmental Research. She is an advisory council member of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N, former executive director of the Fund for Southern Communities and a member of the Bakery Confectionery and Tobacco Workers International Union.
Orrock received the 2010 State Leader Award from the Progressive States Network and was featured in Governing magazine. She was selected by Creative Loafing readers as “most effective local elected official” and received their 2010 ARNIE “loyal opposition” award.
The daughter of a Georgia native son and an East Tennessee mother, Orrock has lived in Atlanta since 1968 and has two grown sons. She received her B.A. in English from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia and is a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Atlanta.