This morning a big bus wrapped with the slogan… “When Woman succeed… America succeeds …” rolled into Lowell and stopped at Middlesex Community College where a crowd of woman (and yes some men) eagerly awaited them. These Democratic ladies of the US House of representatives were led by former Speaker and current minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. This was part of a tour that started in Seneca Fall, NY. The group included Congresswomen Rosa DeLaura (CT), Doris Matusi (CA), Jackie Speier(CA), Lois Frandel (FL), Jan Schakowsy (IL), Donna Edwards (VA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), (Joyce Betty (OH) and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) as well as Massachusetts members Katherine Clark and John Tierney and their host Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro was noted as the “godmother” of the tour and the author of legislation addressing the “three legs of the stool” that comprise the focus with this aim of success ~ fair pay, paid sick leave and child care.
They wanted to hear from women… the stories, the needs of women and families… the programs that would help them succeed. One of those who spoke was CTI Executive Director Karen Frederick (below). CTI provides services for over 50,000 clients… women, children, families, seniors, veterans, young people… including Head Start, early childhood education, job training, childcare, shelter and much more.
Leader Pelosi and the others visibly reacted as some individual stories were told. Pelosi also used Lowell and its mill girl history as a metaphor as she spoke of how in the Democratic caucus they took everyone’s ideas “to weave the fabric” of policy for what is needed for woman and America to succeed. Pelosi made history herself when she was elected as the first woman to hold the office of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. As Jackie Moloney – Vice-Chancellor of UMass Lowell told us – it was perhaps Marty Meehan’s most memorable vote while in the Congress.
Many elected officials and Democratic activists joined with MCC President Carole Cowan to welcome the Members of Congress to Lowell – and there was a buzz that will reverberate around the city and the Merrimack Valley today!
(Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, Lowell Mayor Rodney Elliott and Lowell City Manager Kevin Murphy) My photos.