(April 22-23, 2007) -- LBReport.com is receiving reactions to the passing of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB). We're updating them below as received.
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LB Mayor Bob Foster: All of us are saddened by the news of Congresswoman Millender-McDonald's
passing. She was vibrant, charismatic and a constant champion for the causes she believed in. Our prayers are with her family throughout this very difficult time.
6th district Council candidate Al Austin: She was a great public servant who dedicated over twenty years of her life to service at the local, state and the federal level. She should be remembered for her service to all of us...She inspired me early on when I dealt with her while conducting legislative advocacy for UAW Local 148 [on jobs related to McDonnell-Douglas MD95/Boeing 717]
5th district Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske: It's very sad. For the last several years, she's had personal tragedies that are especially hard to overcome when you're ill. It's also a loss for Long Beach because she'd just been named chair [under the 2007 Democrat majority Congress] of the House Administration Committee. It controls the operations of congressional offices, which made her the "go-to" person for Congressmembers...and gave her the opportunity to use that position effectively. It's unfortunate that just as she became a Committee chair as part of the majority party that she didn't get an opportunity to work in that capacity.
State Senator Jenny Oropeza: This is a very, very sad day. Congresswoman Millender-McDonald was a terrific Congresswoman. I remember very well times in which she and I spoke with young people. I particularly remember what a great role model she was for young people, the great image that she projected of a strong, professional woman. And I think she conveyed to young people that they can be whatever they want to be in this world. And she was a great leader for the community in conveying the needs of our area to Congress and our Presidents over the years in which she was our representative. She worked very hard and was present in our community when she wasn't in Washington. I am very heartbroken that she had to suffer through this bout of cancer. I think this is a day of sadness for all of us in her district and certainly for her family.
Retired LB Councilman Jerry Shultz: I will always appreciate the unflinching support the Congresswoman gave our Veterans. She was a regular for many years at our annual Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn, Long Beach, where she presented a proclamation from the President. I will also remember the time I arrived in Washington, unannounced, and decided to visit several members of the California Republican House delegation. None would see me. Congresswoman McDonald, a Democrat, graciously interrupted a meeting and took time to invite me into her office and chat for about thirty minutes. She was a very gracious lady and always had my vote when I lived in her district. She will be missed.
Retired LB Councilman Les Robbins: I have known Congresswoman Millender-McDonald for many years. This is a sudden and tragic loss for those whom she both knew and served. Cancer can be a brutal disease that discriminates against no one. My prayers and thoughts go to her family and I wish them well in this most difficult time.
L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe: I was deeply saddened to hear of today's passing of Congresswoman Juanita
Millender-McDonald. She was a Patriot and a remarkable public servant in the truest sense. Over the years we worked together on numerous projects in the overlapping communities in both our Districts, including Long Beach and Signal
Hill. In particular, she was a key ally in keeping in Los Angeles Air Force Base open for business. Her loss is a loss to all of Los Angeles County and the State of California.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: Maria and I were saddened to learn of the passing of one of California's dedicated public servants. Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald was deeply devoted to our state and our nation, and served with profound vision and integrity. She was a pioneer who will continue to serve as an inspiration for Californians and all Americans. Maria and I offer our deepest condolences to Congresswoman Millender-McDonald's family as they mourn the loss of a truly distinguished individual.
President George W. Bush: Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald of California. She was a dedicated public servant who tirelessly and honorably served her country for many years. We hold Rep. Millender-McDonald's family, friends, staff, and constituents in our thoughts and prayers.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: I was saddened to learn of Juanita’s passing. She was a friend, a woman of style and grace who faithfully represented the people of the 37th Congressional District. Juanita had a remarkable career -- she entered politics after raising five children and then returning to school – and she was a trail-blazer. She was the first African American woman elected to the Carson City Council, and the first African American woman to lead the House Committee on Administration. I had looked forward to working closely with her in this capacity, and now that won’t be possible. I send my deepest sympathy to her family and many friends. California has lost a dedicated public servant and a true friend.
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