BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement in honor of the ninety-second birthday of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman and the first Caribbean American to enter the race for President of the United States.
“Today, we celebrate the ninety-second birthday of my esteemed predecessor, the Honorable Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. A woman proud of her Caribbean heritage and her membership in the renowned Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., her voice was a call to action in the Civil Rights Movement to insist that women must have an opportunity to assume positions of leadership. Her achievements in Congress were extensive: the establishment of nutrition assistance programs, expanded health services for parents and children, increases in the minimum wage, literacy training, the protection of the right to vote, support for veterans of the armed forces, and providing opportunities for women to succeed in college, graduate school, and collegiate and professional sports with the enactment of Title IX. In 1972, Congresswoman Chisolm entered the campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. There had never been a woman candidate for President in the Democratic Party or an African-American candidate in either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. She had a button that explained: ‘Ready or Not.’ And ‘Ready or Not’ was exactly the idea. Shirley Chisholm realized that she could not wait until the United States believed it was ‘ready’ for an African-American as President or a woman as President. As a result, all of us are now beneficiaries of her legacy.”
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, the Committee on Ethics and the Committee on Small Business in the House of Representatives, proudly represents Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, Park Slope, Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.