WASHINGTON - Los Angeles Congresswoman Barbara Lee was joined by 121 House colleagues, including 35 Republicans, to send a letter to the United States Postal Service requesting that they issue a commemorative postage stamp to honor the life and legacy of former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Shirley Chisholm represented New York’s 12th Congressional District for 14 years, and she holds the distinction of being the first female African-American Member of Congress and the first African-American to run for President of the United States. Earlier this month, Congresswoman Lee introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives acknowledging the 42nd anniversary of the Congresswoman Chisholm’s history-making election to Congress.
“After celebrating Black History Month, and while enjoying Women’s History Month, I can think of no more of a fitting time to take this important step that will honor Shirley Chisholm’s legacy,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Congresswoman Chisholm is heroine and role model to millions of people across our nation, including me. I can think of few better ways to commemorate her impressive career as a public servant and trailblazer than by having the U.S. Postal Service issue this stamp.”
Full text of the letter to the U.S. Postal Service below:
March 23, 2011
Ms. Jean Picker Firstenberg, Chair
Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee
United States Postal Service
1735 North Lynn Street, Room 5013
Arlington, VA 22209
Dear Ms. Firstenberg:
We write to express our strong support for the issuance of a postage stamp as a tribute to the life and legacy of our late colleague, The Honorable Shirley Chisholm.
Congresswoman Chisholm was an African-American pioneer who was elected to the U.S. Congress at a time when there were few women elected to public office, let alone many minority women in public life. She gave voice to the overlooked and underrepresented members of our society: minorities, women, and children.
Through her example, Congresswoman Chisholm encouraged many Americans to believe in themselves, and dedicate their lives to expanding the rights of the disenfranchised. Congresswoman Chisholm was a catalyst for change. Her extraordinary work empowered a generation of women and minorities to participate in the political process.
In 1968, she was the first African-American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. On January 23, 1972, she became the first African-American from a major political party to run for President of the United States. Today we have 15 African-American women in Congress, and our nation’s first African-American President, The Honorable Barack Obama. After celebrating Black History Month, and while enjoying Women’s History Month, we find the time exceedingly fitting to acknowledge and honor Shirley Chisholm’s legacy.
We ask the Committee to give careful consideration to a postage stamp commemorating Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. We believe now is the time to honor her legacy. It is our hope that her courageous nature and groundbreaking actions will further inspire future generations.
Member of Congress