I have been informed that over the weekend my predecessor, former 7th Congressional District Congresswoman Cardiss Collins died of natural causes. Cardiss Collins, my predecessor after the death of her husband George, who died in an airplane crash, was elected to succeed him in June of 1973.
During her more than two decades in the Congress Jet Magazine hailed her as a trailblazer. She was the first African American woman elected to the Congress from the Midwest and for nearly a decade after being elected she was also the first African American woman elected to Democratic Party leadership: Whip at Large. For nearly a decade after her election she was the only African American woman in the Congress.
As a Member, Representative Collins led efforts to curtail credit fraud against women, advocated for providing for gender equity in college sports, and reforming federal child care facilities, chaired the Government Activities and Transportation Sub-Committee and chaired the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Cardiss Collins was a serious advocate for women and working people.
We appreciate her service and mourn her death.