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Congress Mourns Passing of Rep. Julia Carson

On December 17, the House approved, by voice vote, H. Res. 880, a resolution expressing the condolences of the House of Representatives on the death of Rep. Julia Carson (D-IN). The same day, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a similar resolution, S. Res. 407, sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).

Sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), H. Res. 880 expresses the House’s “profound sorrow” upon hearing of the death of Rep. Carson. She was the only woman in the Indiana congressional delegation, and the first woman and African American elected to Congress to represent Indianapolis.

In a floor statement, Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) said, “One of the first events I attended as a member [of Congress] was an event held by domestic violence advocates…We were…lined up, members of Congress, to address this coalition on domestic violence. I could speak from my professional experience. But she spoke before me. And she dazzled that crowd because she spoke as a survivor…She had broken the barriers that have entrapped so many Americans of color, Americans who are women. She knew how to fight for herself, for her children as a single mother, as a community member who knew what ceilings were like with class, gender, ethnicity, race, and she could relate that to people…She knew how to take her experiences and become such a role model and strong advocate [for] civil rights, victims of domestic violence. She improved the lives of countless individuals, and she did so by fixing things that were broken, but also by inspiring people to not give up.” Rep. Capps continued, “I used to love to see her here and to see her bearing and to see her fitting the word ‘queen’ in every sense of that word. What a delight to serve with Julia Carson…I also join my colleagues in remembering you forever for your wit, your elegance, your perseverance, and, of course, always, Julia, your smile. I will always love you and treasure your memory.”

Rep. Burton said, also in a floor statement, “Julia was a wonderful person, very highly regarded by the people of Indianapolis. In fact, she is the only woman in the history of the city who was recognized as ‘Woman of the Year’ by the Indianapolis Star twice. That honor came to her by readers of the paper voting for her. That was quite an honor, an honor that has not been bestowed upon any other woman in the city’s history. The thing I really liked about Julia was that even though she was a Democrat and I was a Republican, we worked together on a lot of issues that were very important to central Indiana and the City of Indianapolis. I remember one case in particular that dealt with the Children’s Museum. I talked to Julia about it, and she took the bull by the horns and worked very hard to make sure that the problems that we had with the Children’s Museum were resolved, and I really admired her for that…She was a very fine congresswoman. She was a very fine person. She always had a smile for everybody, and I really appreciated knowing her. She shall be missed. I think that she is probably in heaven looking down on us right now. Julia, you did a good job.”

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