Rep. Louise Slaughter, NY Democrat who championed women's rights, dies at 88

18 March, 2018, 01:42 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter has died at the age of 88

Slaughter, an institution in NY politics who in 2007 became the first woman to take the gavel of the powerful House Rules Committee, died Friday morning at the age of 88.

First elected to Congress in 1986 in western New York, Slaughter was the oldest sitting member in the House of Representatives, a tough-as-nails legislator and an influential voice within her party.

The New York Democrat died at George Washington University Hospital a week after a fall in which Slaughter had sustained a concussion, said Liam Fitzsimmons, her chief of staff. She was such a tireless advocate and great public servant for our community and region throughout her tenure in Congress. The congresswoman served 16 terms in Washington and had plans to run for a 17th term in November. "Today we set aside politics to celebrate the life of Congresswoman Slaughter". Her husband passed away in 2014.

Politicians, citizens, and friends are sharing their memories of Slaughter; they say she was known for her determination, compassion, and wit.

After working in the assembly, Louise Slaughter got a job with the mayor of NY, and she continued her work there until she was asked to run for congress.

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At the building dedication, Slaughter said, "One of my goals, as congresswoman, has been to prepare my district for the 21st century".

"Louise never forgot her roots as the daughter of a Kentucky blacksmith", said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

Among her many accomplishments, Slaughter authored the landmark Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), protecting individuals from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment, and the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which was created to combat insider trading.

"As Dean of our Congressional Delegation, she made all New Yorkers proud". She remained the panel's top Democrat until her death. At 88-years-old, she was the oldest member of the House at the time of her death.

Slaughter retained her Southern accent long after her move from her native Kentucky.

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Slaughter was the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, which determines when and how bills reach the House floor, and served as chairman for four years after Pelosi became the first female House speaker in 2007. "In her lifetime of public service and unwavering commitment to working families, Congresswoman Slaughter embodied the very best of the American spirit and ideals".

Bernard Hurwitz, associate vice president of RIT for NTID Administration, served as an intern in her office in 1989, during his third year of college. However, Slaughter, 83 at the time, told The New York Times, "I don't feel my age".

She and her were married for 57 years. She cited local economic development initiatives including the Inner Loop project, Rochester's new train station, waterfront revitalization in Charlotte, and grants for High Tech Rochester. "We're holding you in our hearts".

"She was trailblazer, a partner and friend ever since we worked together for my father more than four decades ago", the younger Cuomo said in a statement, calling her a "champion for NY".

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