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Public Statements

Submitted Resolutions

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Location: Washington, DC


SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - March 06, 2007)

SENATE RESOLUTION 96--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT HARRIETT WOODS WILL BE REMEMBERED AS A PIONEER IN WOMEN'S POLITICS

Mrs. McCASKILL (for herself, Mr. Bond, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Boxer, Ms. Stabenow, Ms. Cantwell, Ms. Mikulski, Mrs. Feinstein, Mrs. Murray, Mrs. Lincoln, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Levin, Mr. Dodd Mr. Obama, and Mr. Harkin) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary:

S. Res. 96

Whereas Harriett Woods, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, launched a 50-year political career with a neighborhood crusade against rattling potholes;

Whereas Harriett Woods, who died of leukemia at the age of 79 on February 8, 2007, had many firsts, including being the first female editor for her college newspaper at the University of Michigan, the first woman on the Missouri Transportation Commission, and the first woman to win statewide office in the State of Missouri as Lieutenant Governor;

Whereas, from 1991 to 1995, Harriett Woods served as president of the National Women's Political Caucus, a bipartisan grassroots organization whose mission is to increase women's participation in the political process at all levels of government; and

Whereas Harriett Woods was integral to the electoral successes of what became known as the Year of the Woman, when in 1992, female candidates won 19 seats in the House of Representatives and 3 seats in the Senate: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that Harriett Woods will be remembered as a pioneer in women's politics, whose actions and leadership inspired hundreds of women nationwide to participate in the political process and to break gender barriers at every level of government.

Mrs. MCCASKILL. Mr. President, today I am proud to submit as my first piece of legislation as a United States Senator, a resolution to honor the memory of a great woman and a great leader--Harriett Woods.

It is also a privilege to submit this resolution with Senators BOND, MIKULSKI, CLINTON, CANTWELL, MURRAY, STABENOW, LINCOLN, BOXER, FEINSTEIN, KLOBUCHAR, BINGAMAN, LEVIN, OBAMA, HARKIN, and DODD.

Harriett, who died last month at the age of 79 from leukemia, had many firsts in her rich life: she was the first female editor of her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She was the first woman on the Missouri Transportation Commission and she was the first woman to win statewide office in the State of Missouri when she was elected Lieutenant Governor.

But Harriett's career in public service only tells part of the story. Harriett was a born leader and she used it to inspire hundreds of women across the country to get involved at all levels of government. For 5 years, she served as president of the National Women's Political Caucus, a bipartisan grassroots organization whose mission is to increase women's participation in the political process.

Her struggle to win a U.S. Senate seat in 1982 against Senator John Danforth was the inspiration to the founders of Emily's List, which is dedicated to recruiting and funding viable women candidates. Many thought that Harriett could have won that race, which she lost by a scant 27,247 votes, had she not run out of money.

Harriett was also integral to what became known as the Year of the Woman, when in 1992, female candidates won nineteen seats in the United States House of Representatives and three seats in the United States Senate.

Harriett realized 25 years ago, before most women even considered the notion, that there was only one way women were going to take their seat at the table of political power in our great Nation: by daring to fail, by embracing breathtaking risk, and by standing up to the bouncer at the door of the back room filled with the good old boys who ran for office. When that bouncer told Harriett that she could not come in, she said, just watch me.

And when that same bouncer tried to kick her out of the room, she said just try it. And after she was comfortable in that room, she didn't sit down. She went out and found other women and led them to that room by pure unadulterated leadership.

Harriett wrote a wonderful book about her life as a national political leader. She closed the book with the following:

Somewhere, at this very moment, in some neighborhood in America, a woman very like my younger self is confronting a problem that affects her life, and family. Perhaps it's the need for a playground for her children; maybe it's a threat to clean water from rural animal waste. She has spoken up, but no one is willing to take action. She's never been a public person, and famous woman senators seem a world away. Still, she cares deeply about finding a solution. After agonizing thought, she makes a crucial decision. She will step up to power, and another woman leader will be born.

Many of the women who hold or have held public office, including myself, have Harriett Woods to thank for leading the way. So thank you, Harriett. Thank you on behalf of all the women who will follow you, all the women who will stand on your shoulders.

http://thomas.loc.gov/

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