2023 Assembly Resolution 11
Relating to: honoring the life and public service of Representative Joanne Duren.
Whereas, Joanne Duren was a vocal and independent-minded member of the Wisconsin State Assembly who served her constituents in southwest Wisconsin from the 1971 to 1981 legislative sessions; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren was born in Cazenovia, Richland County, Wisconsin, on October 11, 1931, to Frank and Henrietta Duren; and
Whereas, after graduating from Madison Business College in 1950, Joanne Duren worked in various secretarial positions before operating her own secretarial business in the late 1960s; and
Whereas, working as a secretary in the Wisconsin Legislature, Joanne Duren observed state government firsthand and was inspired to run for office; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren won her bid to represent Iowa and Richland Counties in November 1970, becoming the first woman to represent both counties; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren advocated for farmers, supporting a proposed constitutional amendment to assess agricultural lands differently for the purposes of imposing property taxes; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren also successfully pushed for legislation establishing a state veterinary school and designating the dairy cow as the state's domestic animal; and
Whereas, her other efforts included reforming capital gains taxes, limiting smoking in public places, requiring smoke detectors in new residences, and making mobile homes safer; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren served in Democratic caucus leadership and chaired various committees, including Tourism and Economic Development and State-Federal Relations; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren was fiercely independent, committed to the Democratic Party but willing to break with Democrats on controversial issues; and
Whereas, throughout her career, Joanne Duren kept her constituents informed of the activities of the legislature on her Sunday morning Assembly Reports radio broadcast; and
Whereas, after losing her bid for reelection in November 1982, Joanne Duren served as the Chief Clerk of the Wisconsin State Assembly during the 1983 and 1985 legislative sessions; and
Whereas, following her career as a public servant in Wisconsin, Joanne Duren moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she enriched her community with volunteer work at her church and other charitable organizations; and
Whereas, Joanne Duren passed away on November 26, 2022, at the age of 91; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the assembly, That the members of the Wisconsin Assembly mourn the passing of Representative Joanne Duren and celebrate her accomplishments as a legislator.