Commission for Women
About the Commission for Women
Upon completion of a 1974 study on the status of women, the Alexandria City Council established the Commission for Women in order to eliminate gender discrimination and to encourage equal opportunity for women in all aspects of their lives. Today, the Commission's members continue to provide advice and consultation to City Council on issues concerning women.
Anuja was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women (CFW) in May 2014. She has served as Vice Chair since May 2022. She has served on multiple committees over the years including the Salute to Women, Affordable Housing & Transportation Working Group. In addition to her volunteer activities with the CFW, she also volunteers with Meals on Wheels and the Groceries-To-Go Program sponsored by the Senior Services of Alexandria. Professionally Anuja has spent much of her professional career at multiple Trade Associations in the DMV area and most recently served as Director of Strategic Sales at the Manufacturers Alliance. Prior to MA, she served as Director of Membership at the Helicopter Association International. Anuja graduated from The University of Michigan with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing. Anuja has lived in the City of Alexandria since 2000 and raised a daughter who now resides in Chicago.
Crystal Kramer was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in December 2020. Crystal has lived in Virginia for over 30 years and has been a proud Alexandrian for 8 years. She currently serves as Chair of the Commission and as a member of the Commission's Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault/Human Trafficking Working Group. Previously, she served as the First-Vice Chair of the Commission and Chair of the Affordable Housing and Transportation Working Group. Crystal has practiced law for 10 years with a focus on Housing Law and Civil Litigation.
Emily was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in October 2021. Emily is a women's health policy professional with 8+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector and the federal government. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Emily has been a Virginian since 2015 and has called Alexandria home since 2019. She received her B.A. from Allegheny College and her M.S. in health policy from George Mason University.
Jennifer (Jenn) Stowe
Jenn was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in March 2021. Jenn has lived in the City of Alexandria for 30 years; she raised her daughter here. She serves the Commission as the Chair of the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault/Human Trafficking Working Group. She also serves on the Alexandria Commission on Aging. She spent nearly 25 years volunteering with the Alexandria Domestic Violence program. Professionally Jenn is Vice President, Government Relations for The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). Prior to CRI, she worked on international advocacy for the Chlorine Chemistry Council at the Chemical Manufacturers Association. Immediately following her graduation from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, she moved to Mexico to volunteer at an orphanage for 2 1/2 years. She is married to her husband, Lane, and they have a 152-pound ball of floof, a Great Pyrenees named Otto.
Lee Taylor-Penn, MPA, MPH
Lee was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in May 2022. She brings her background in health policy, and her passion for serving women and families to the commission. Lee is currently employed as the Policy Director for the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance where she manages the policy and partnerships portfolio. From 2019 - 2022, Lee served as an appointed board member for the Safe Housing Alliance, a national organization focused on improving safe housing options for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She is a proud first-generation college student and an alumna of the University of Mississippi and the University of Michigan. Lee enjoys spending time outside with her daughter.
Matthew S. Worner
Matthew was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in December 2022. He is a member of the CFW reproductive rights subcommittee. Matthew has made Alexandria, VA his home for approximately 20 years. Matthew has over 27 years of public service employment.
Jennifer was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in November 2021. For more than fifteen years, Jennifer has devoted her work to the federal public service, primarily focusing on international, immigration, and humanitarian areas. While her work has taken her across the globe, she is eager to devote time to help center, highlight and celebrate women’s issues in Alexandria. Originally from Massachusetts, Jennifer has called Alexandria home for more than six years.
Maxanne (Maxie) Witkin was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in December 2021. She is a native Alexandrian and graduate of its public school system. Maxie is a nationally recognized expert on workplace discrimination and an energetic proponent of accountability, equity, and fairness in government. In February 2023, she was appointed by the United States Comptroller General to serve a five-term as an administrative judge on the General Accountability Office’s Personnel Appeals Board.
During her 35-year Federal career, Maxie also served as an attorney-advisor for the Department of the Navy, the first general counsel of the Department of Defense school system, a Chief Administrative Judge in the Merit Systems Protection Board’s Denver Field Office, and the Department of Veterans Affairs senior executive responsible for EEO complaint adjudication.
She holds undergraduate degrees in political science and journalism from Syracuse University, and a Master of Public Administration and Law Degree from George Washington University.
Her other volunteer affiliations include the Senior Executives Association’s Board of Directors, Alexandria Bar Association, Alexandria Tutoring Consortium’s Book Buddies Program, Virginia State Bar Free Legal Answers Project, and Friends of the Kennedy Center, where she leads tours of the performing arts center’s campus. Maxie is the proud mother of two adult sons and lives in North Old Town.
Sarah was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for women in June 2021. Sarah is a Senior Brand Manager, Innovation & Strategy at Nestle where she works on Coffeemate, Natural Bliss, and Starbucks Coffee Creamer. Sarah was named a Top 40 Under 40 Brand Innovator, #15 on the 2021 Research & Equitable Leadership List, and a Leadership Award winner at Nestle USA. She currently serves as Past President of the Military Community Employee Resource Group at Nestle and the Combat Military Hunger Task Force for Military Family Advisory Network. Sarah earned her MBA from The College of William and Mary and her B.S. in Journalism from The University of Kansas. Sarah resides in Alexandria with her husband and three children.
Yvette (she/her) was appointed to the Alexandria Commission for Women in October 2020. She holds a BA in Philosophy, MA in Conflict Resolution, and she is pursuing an MBA degree. She is a finance professional at Georgetown University. Yvette also serves on the DASH Bus Advisory Committee and is a member of the Duke Street Transitway Advisory Group.
- Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Alexandria Commission for Women Status of Women Report
View the Alexandria Commission for Women Status of Women Report. For more information or to join an Alexandria Board or Commission, contact the Alexandria Clerk of the Council at 703.746.3975. To contact the Commission for Women, send an email.
Commission for Women Meetings
The Commission for Women is composed of 15 volunteers, appointed by City Council, and an Executive Director from City staff. The Commission meets the second Tuesday of every month, from September through June, at 7 p.m. in room 2000 at City Hall. All Commission meetings are open to the public. Residents are welcome to attend meetings.
Commission sub-committees include data collection and assessment, events and programs, and public policy and advocacy.
Commission for Women Initiatives
Commission efforts are largely centered on:
(1) Supporting existing City programs that focus on women, specifically: Domestic Violence Program (DVP), Sexual Assault Program (SAP), Reproductive Health and Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP), Affordable Housing and Transportation.
(2) Providing guidance and advice to the City on relevant legislation and public policy issues.
(3) Sponsoring awareness and outreach events, including the Salute to Women Awards Program and Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
(4) The preservation and promotion of women’s history in Alexandria through the Women’s History Tour and related projects.
In addition, the Commission stays active on affairs within the city. Commissioners learn about and provide insight on local issues by attending Council meetings, hearings and symposia, inviting speakers to Commission meetings, and attending educational and civic programs within the City and around the region.
Commission for Women Events and Contributions
The Commission for Women sponsors annual community events, such as the Salute to Women Awards and Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
Other activities throughout the year include:
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities in October
- Outreach at the Old Town Alexandria Farmer's Market
- Celebrating International Women's Day
- Supporting various events such as the Domestic Violence Safehouse grocery store fundraisers and the Domestic Violence Children's Holiday Party
Opportunities to volunteer for the Commission for Women include:
- Children's Holiday Party (children’s gift donations)
- Salute to Women (soliciting sponsorship and donations, event planning and event staffing on the day of the event)
- Take our Daughter and Sons to Work Day (soliciting business tours, serving as a tour guide and event staff on the day of the event)
- Serving as a tour guide for our Women’s History Tour
To learn more about volunteer opportunities please email your contact information, interests and availability to the Commission.