ABERDEEN – An event originally planned 17 months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns finally came to fruition Aug. 19 as the Monroe County Republican Women held its charter dinner at the Aberdeen Country Club.

Nancy Frohn, 1st congressional district director of the Mississippi Federation of Republican Women, said last week’s event was the 10th charter dinner for new clubs, with more planned soon.

“This club is just now having their charter dinner tonight. At the national convention in September in Orlando, Florida, they will receive a top award nationwide, a Diamond Award, and the top award statewide for what they do with this club,” she said.

Members of the Monroe County Republican Women were installed as officers during the charter dinner.

Evelyn Thompson is president, Misti Adams is 1st vice president, Tammy Fooshee is 2nd vice president, Judy Cockerham is secretary, Barbara Whitaker is treasurer, Margaret Pope is chaplain, and Carol Jaudon is parliamentarian.

Tackling issues

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch served as the event’s keynote speaker, focusing her speech on several efforts through her office – addressing human trafficking, censorship through larger technology companies, inflated insulin prices through pharmaceutical companies and trying to overturn Roe v. Wade in order to give power back to states regarding abortion rights.

“The Republican Women were the first ones who stepped up about human trafficking…the very first ones to put out the billboards to really light the conversation,” she said. “There are victims across our state. They are someone’s child, someone’s sister, someone’s grandchild. They’re young men, young women, children trafficked right here in our state.”

She added a recent human trafficking operation in North Mississippi led to the rescue of six young girls and the arrest of eight individuals. Fitch added 50 percent of human trafficking instances stem back to family members.

The Mississippi Attorney General’s recently launched the Be The Solution campaign to address human trafficking, which includes marketing campaign, promoting the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 and partnerships with truck drivers and school bus drivers throughout the state.

“Take every opportunity you can to share that message. These are predators, and we don’t want them in our state,” Fitch said.

She touched on filings against Google and Facebook about online censorship, saying her office was even censored by Twitter for posting a marketing video regarding the fight against human trafficking.

She also discussed the need for equal pay for female employees during her speech.

“We have a 27 percent equal pay gap. That affects a lot of people. It’s about $6 billion a year that would go into our local economy if in Mississippi we had equal pay,” Fitch said.

She stressed the need for equal pay for not only fairness but to retain people in Mississippi.

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