Chisholm deserves the Congressional Gold Medal
Nov 06, 2018 | 7491 views | 0 0 comments | 618 618 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Those famous words were uttered by Shirley Chisholm, a groundbreaking and trailblazing congresswoman who represented Brooklyn for 14 years in the House of Representatives.

That quote exemplifies the spirit and fierce defiance of Chisholm, who made history in 1968 by becoming the first African-American elected to Congress.

She later etched her name in the history books again in 1972, becoming the first black candidate of a major political party to run for president.

Chisholm’s signature slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed,” still inspires people to this day.

Though she has been honored in a multitude of ways, including having a state office building and a post office named after her in Brooklyn, Chisholm’s accomplishments and influence have not been recognized in the chamber where she served for seven terms.

That’s why her congressional successors, Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, are pushing Congress to posthumously award her the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the legislative branch.

Chisholm was already awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 by President Barack Obama, so it only makes sense for Congress to acknowledge her contributions as well.

In addition to defying the odds in national politics, Chisholm used her time in public service to help her constituents through legislation and policy.

She successfully expanded the country’s food stamp program while serving in the Agriculture Committee. She helped pass Title IX, creating new opportunities for women across the country.

An opponent of the Vietnam War, she instead backed more spending on education, health care and other services for inner city residents.

Chisholm, who retired and moved to Florida, passed away in 2005. But her legacy still lives on today, and should be honored by Congress with the Congressional Gold Medal.
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