Press Release

Gillibrand, Crowley Introduce Resolution to Honor Geraldine A. Ferraro

Mar 30, 2011

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) introduced matching resolutions in the Senate and House to honor the life and accomplishments of former Congresswoman and Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine A. Ferraro. The resolutions, which recognize Ferraro’s service to Queens and New York, as well as pay tribute to her indelible impact as a trailblazer in American politics, passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent late last night.

“Geraldine Ferraro was more than a pioneer who inspired me, and generations of women, she was also a great friend and mentor,” Senator Gillibrand said. “I will greatly miss her many words of wisdom, encouragement and advice. While her passing is a great loss for our country, I know that her legacy will live on forever. I was inspired by her convention speech when she said, ‘The issue is not what Americans can do for women, but what women can do for America,’ and am humbled to be part of the next generation of women leaders carrying on her life’s work. I am proud to join Rep. Crowley in introducing a resolution honoring the extraordinary life of Geraldine Ferraro.”

“Gerry may have made her mark on the nation’s consciousness as a member of Congress and a candidate for vice president, but she was much more. She was a wife, a mother, and above all, an inspiration to both those who knew her and those who simply knew of her,” said Congressman Crowley. “As the Representative of her former district, Gerry was a great mentor and friend, and she had a profound influence on my service to the people of Queens. It is with great honor that I join Senator Gillibrand in introducing a resolution to honor the life and legacy of this incredible woman who will forever remain a fixture not only in American politics, but in our hearts.”

The resolutions, co-sponsored by the entire New York State delegation, recognize Ferraro for helping to “tear down barriers to the full and equal participation of women in national politics.” From working her way through law school, to being one of 16 women in the House of Representatives, to her selection as the first woman to be a candidate for Vice President on a major political party’s ticket, Ferraro paved the way for the next generation of American women. 

The resolutions also laud Ferraro’s fight for women’s rights, marking her legislative achievements while serving the 9th Congressional District of New York, as well as her efforts to fight for women’s rights around the world when she later served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Additionally, the resolutions highlight Ferraro’s distinguished career as a district attorney in New York, her rise in the Democratic Party’s leadership, and her life-long commitment to public service.

The text of the Senate and House resolutions is below:

Honoring Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro, the first woman selected by a major political party as its candidate for Vice President of the United States, and extending the condolences of the Senate on her death.

Whereas Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro served the people of the 9th Congressional district of New York for 6 years;

Whereas, Congresswoman Ferraro worked her way through law school at Fordham University, at a time when very few women did so;

Whereas, Congresswoman Ferraro then joined the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, where she supervised the prosecution of a variety of violent crimes, including child and domestic abuse;

Whereas, in 1978 New York’s Ninth Congressional district in Queens elected Congresswoman Ferraro to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was one of only sixteen women members of the House;

Whereas, when she was nominated as the running mate of Vice President Walter F. Mondale in the 1984 presidential race, Congresswoman Ferraro became the first woman ever chosen to run on the national ticket of either of America’s two major political parties;

Whereas, Congresswoman Ferraro’s candidacy continues the progress begun by women who achieved political firsts before her and helped to tear down barriers to the full and equal participation of women in national politics;

Whereas in January 1993, President Clinton appointed Ms. Ferraro a United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a role from which she championed the rights of women around the world;

Whereas, Geraldine Ferraro’s 1984 bid for Vice President helped our daughters join our sons in believing they could achieve anything they set their minds to;

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That–

(1)   the Senate recognizes that Geraldine Ferraro’s vice-presidential candidacy forever enriched the American political landscape and forged a new path for women of the United States;

(2)   the Senate pays tribute to Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro’s work to improve the lives of women and families not only in the Ninth Congressional District of New York, who she represented so well, but also the lives of women and families all across the United States; 

(3) the Senate requests the Secretary of the Senate to transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to the family of Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro; and

(4) when the Senate adjourns today, it stand adjourned as a further mark of respect to the memory of Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro.