A picture of Representative Barbara Lee
Barbara L.
Democrat CA 13

About Rep. Barbara
  • The Legacy of Cardiss Collins, Past Cbc Chair

    by Representative Barbara Lee

    Posted on 2013-02-26

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    LEE of California asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.) Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month we lost a true champion for women, for communities of color, for the entire country.

    Elected in 1973, Congresswoman Cardiss Collins soon became a forceful political voice in the House, rising quickly to become chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1979. I came to know and to love Cardiss Collins while working as a staffer to Congressman Ron Dellums.

    She opened so many doors for African American women elected to Congress now, serving for a time as one of the only African American women. From 1985 to 1991, she was the only Black woman here in the House of Representatives. She broke so many glass ceilings, oftentimes fighting many, many lonely battles with grace and distinction, knowing her power and her strength.

    She was a leader in the fight for low-income women's access to reproductive health services. And she fought tirelessly to ensure that women and minorities were treated equally to their counterparts, especially in college athletics, in the insurance industry, government hiring, and at the Smithsonian.

    On behalf of Ron Dellums and his staff, we send our condolences and our prayers.


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