This morning word spread of the death seven-term Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald of California’s 37th district. Just last week she had requested a four to six week leave of absence to tend to her health. She had colon cancer and was just 68 years old.

Statements from around the web:

The National Conference of Democratic Mayors

“On behalf of America’s Democratic Mayors, I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the family of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald. The Congresswoman was a trailblazer in her esteemed career of public service. Congresswoman McDonald was a woman who amounted a list of many historical firsts, and that is something to truly be admired.

“She was the first to hold the position of Chairwoman for two powerful California State Assembly committees; the first African American woman to give the national Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly radio address; and most impressively, she was the first African American woman in history to hold the position of Ranking Member and then Chair on the powerful Committee on House Administration.

From House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

“Congresswoman Millender-McDonald truly was a pioneer in many ways, becoming the first African American woman in history to chair a committee in Congress, the House Administration Committee. She also was the first African American woman to serve on the Carson City Council, and the first to chair two committees in the California State Assembly.

“During her seven terms in Congress, Juanita Millender-McDonald distinguished herself as a passionate, strong advocate on a range of issues – from ensuring equal rights for women and minorities, to improving our education system and combating poverty, to protecting voting rights, to stopping the genocide in Darfur.

Congressional Quarterly offers a view of Millender-McDonald’s work in the 110th Congress and the void she leaves.

Finally, Booman Tribune offers up Millender-McDonald, Crack, and the CIA, a must-read of “her most memorable moment in politics.”

RIP, Rep. Millender-McDonald, and to our brothers and sisters out there, please get a check up, especially for colon cancer. It’s a tragic killer of too many too young.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Related Posts with Thumbnails