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Rep. Towns Remembers the Honorable Shirley Chisholm

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Rep. Towns Remembers the Honorable Shirley Chisholm Powered By Docstoc
					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2011
Contact: Charles E. Lewis, Jr.: 202-225-5936


Rep. Towns Remembers the Honorable Shirley Chisholm
       WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns (NY10) released the following statement
of the occasion of the 87th birthday of the late Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm:


       “I would be remiss if I did not pause to recognize the birthday of the late Honorable
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm who would have been 87 years old today. Many people will
remember and honor Shirley Chisholm for the many “firsts” she accomplished—the first black
woman elected to the House of Representatives, the first black presidential candidate for a
majority party, the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, and a
founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
       “When asked how she hoped to be remembered, Congresswoman Chisholm responded:
"I'd like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts." Indeed, this is how I remember my mentor
and dear friend Shirley Chisholm. She disproved stereotypes. She challenged opposition. She
maintained her beliefs. She always persevered. During a time when segregation denied
opportunities for many in various arenas in the American society, Shirley Chisholm served as a
necessary catalyst for change.
       “A glance at Congresswoman Chisholm’s career will reveal not only her outstanding
work, but will also show her many exceptional qualities. In 1972, she entered the presidential
primaries with the goal to win, but also to encourage change. She wanted opponents to change
their platforms and she aimed to draw attention to issues she deemed important.
       “Additionally, she desired to prove that anything is possible if a black woman from the
Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn could take on these challenges. She genuinely cared
about her constituents as well as all people. She took risks to motivate others, particularly
women, to defy stereotypes and pursue their dreams.
       “I wholeheartedly believe Congresswoman Chisholm was one of the most extraordinary
individuals Brooklyn and our nation have ever seen. She had the ability to unify people who
would never dare to be seen in the same room. When she spoke people not only listened, they
responded. She was passionate about her community and strived to better it. She was a
woman of action, a born leader, and a trailblazer. This is how I remember my beloved mentor
and friend, the Honorable Shirley Chisholm.”
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