Three or four decades ago, it would have been unlikely for newspaper readers to see a Page A1 like the one that ran this week in The Journal Times. From top to bottom, there were stories chronicling the achievements of local people — all of them women.
The top headline of the day Wednesday was “Neubauer wins primary” and reported on the Democratic primary win of Greta Neubauer, which likely sets her up to win the general election and become the next state representative for the 66th District. It’s possible the newspaper may have run a similar headline in the past, but that would have been about Neubauer’s father, Jeff, who was previously a state representative from the area, or her mother, Lisa, who is a judge on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Clearly, there is a lineage of public service in the family, but Greta, 26, worked her way up through jobs with a non-profit and then an internship with former legislator and now Racine Mayor Cory Mason.
The dominant photo on Page A1 on Wednesday was of Samantha Logic at a ceremony at halftime of the Case-Horlick boys basketball game at Case High School, where she was honored for her playing days at Case by having her jersey number — 22 — retired. Logic lit up the court for four years at Case, and was named Associated Press Player of the Year in 2011 as a senior. She went on to play college ball at Iowa, where she was named third-team AP All America in 2015, and was drafted into the WNBA. She now plays in the Austrian Women’s Basketball League.
Rounding out the page was a story about Cathy Stepp, a former housebuilder from Yorkville. In part because of her frustrations dealing with government, Stepp got involved in state politics and was elected state senator representing Racine County in 2003 and served four years there before being tapped to head the state Department of Natural Resources, which she did for several years, reshaping it and making it more “business friendly.” Four months ago, she was named a deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency regional office near Kansas City and last week was named to head the EPA Chicago regional office which oversees the upper Midwest and a good portion of the Great Lakes.
In past days we might have said they all deserve a “tip of the hat” for their successes, but that seems both dated and probably a bit sexist as well. What they have done — all three of them — is muscle their way to achievements with hard work, dedication and talent in their own ways.
And, by doing so, they have opened the doors to other success stories by other young women — and maybe some young men as well. Perhaps Samantha Logic put it best in words when she said of her retired No. 22 jersey that will hang on the wall at Case High: “I can only hope that it will inspire someone walking into the fieldhouse. Dreams can become a reality. I hope they also take into context sacrifices that have to be made to achieve that.”
A tip of the hat? These three are wearing the hat. They may not have broken the “glass ceiling” for women, but they have certainly put some cracks in it and their hard work and talent will pave the way for others to follow and that will benefit all of society.