Name: Joanna Caroline Nelson
Date of Birth: 29 November 1920
Ethnicity: Caucasian (Scots-Irish ancestry)
Religion: Protestant (Presbyterian)
Her family had been cattle ranchers in Montana since the 1870s, having moved out west from less prosperous farming in the east. In contrast to many other cattle farmers, they invested in their land and expanded into vast ranching operations, which the family has maintained ever since. The Nelson family was also long involved in Montana politics, being amongst those citizens who voted on the 1884 constitutional convention to bid for statehood.
Growing up on her family’s ranch in the 1920s, the family had benefited from the boom during the World War I years, and through investments managed to weather the post-war Depression that followed. Graduating high school in 1938, she went on to study journalism at the University of Montana, graduating in 1941. Moving to the West Coast, she found work with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where she worked until the Japanese invasion in 1947.
Returning to her home state of Montana, she remained there until the war ended. During her time back home, she began working for a number of non-profit organisations lobbying for support for the agricultural community, working her way through local and state government, before eventually being sent to represent the farmers and ranchers in KC. Here she remained until 1958, when she began working for women’s advocacy organizations, including the League of Women Voters. This culminated in 1960 with the selection (and election) of Charlotta Bass as the Vice President of the Mountain States during Glen Taylor’s second term.
Remaining with the LWV in KC, she became heavily involved in national politics, including pressing various Congressmen and Senators to back bills. By 1962 she opted to become involved in politics herself, and was elected to the Senate for Montana with the Progressive Party, beating out other local candidates with her expertise and familiarity with KC politics. Re-elected in 1968, she chose not to stand for re-election in 1974, leaving politics to re-connect with her community and the electorate - and resulting in a Republican victory there. She returned to her home state, becoming involved again with the local community and their efforts to press local issues.
With her traditional seat coming around for re-election in 1980, and with Progressive sentiment resurgent in the country, she was pressed by her community and the local Progressive Party to run for office - and although she was elected by a smaller margin than previously, also helped Congresswoman Heather Phelps be elected in the same state.
Her political background has been characterised by an extensive involvement in agricultural issues, as well as championing education reform, abolition of the death penalty, in favor of civil rights, enfranchisement, and ending discrimination. Other areas of her interest have included stronger gun control laws, as well as possibly being more pro-market than other members of her party.
"O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" - Francis Scott Key
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As agreed with Flamelord, this is Joanna Nelson's expanded biography. Picture and familial details to be decided by Flamelord alone.
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