Among the women honored at the California Legislative Women’s Caucus annual celebration Monday in Sacramento was Suzanne Verge of Santa Monica.
Assembly member Fran Pavley said, “I was delighted to name Santa Monica resident Suzanne Verge, President of the L.A. West Chapter of the Million Moms Marchers, as my Woman of the Year.”
Verge is Vice Chair of the California State Council of the Brady Campaign United, and works with a coalition of violence prevention groups on public awareness and legislative issues.
Taking assault weapons out of circulation became a personal cause for Verge after her brother was shot to death in 1978 by a 33-year-old lawyer with three guns and a Demerol addition. When the ten-year 1994 Federal assault weapons ban was about to expire last September, Verge was one of the drivers of the Million Moms Marchers’ Big Pink Rig, which traveled across the country to the Democrat and Republican National Conventions to lobby on behalf of the extension. Congress subsequently failed to pass the bill that would have extended the ban.
“Almost every law enforcement agency will tell you that assault weapons have nothing to do with hunting or legitimate self defense,” said Pavley. “Suzanne deserves this recognition for her determination to keep assault weapons out of everyone’s community. California’s ban is a model that I continue to hope the Federal government will someday adopt.”Verge and the other Women of the Year were honored Monday morning in a floor ceremony in the Assembly Chambers at the State Capitol. Each woman was presented with a framed certificate, and First Lady Maria Shriver thanked them all for their outstanding accomplishments and service. A reception followed at the Golden State Museum.