U.S. Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz (PA-13) released the following statement today regarding the passing of Dr. Happy Fernandez. For over 25 years, Rep. Schwartz and Dr. Fernandez worked closely together on shared policy ideas and goals for the City of Philadelphia, efforts to improve the lives of families and children, and the importance of women serving in public office.
"Happy Fernandez was a colleague and a friend. She was deeply respected for her intellect, her commitment to public service, and her passion for public education and early childhood care.
"Her work in the private sector and her service as an elected official was always grounded in principle and pragmatism. As City Councilwoman, she made tough, smart
decisions that strengthened the City. Her run for Mayor, as the first woman to take on the challenge and run a serious, grassroots campaign made other women and men
more strongly recognize the potential power of women in elected office.
"We talked often about public policy issues as well as how, as women, to be effective while challenging the expectations of old style city politics. Her tenure as
President of Moore College of Art was a continuation of her role as a leader for women, for education, and for the City she loved.
"Happy will be deeply missed, but it is with pride and fondness that we remember her quiet, strong grit and determination. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband Reverend Richard Fernandez, her sons, her grandchildren and other family, and her great many friends and admirers."