WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) reintroduced a bill directing Congress to commission a statue of former U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm to be displayed in the United States Capitol. Currently, there are four statues and busts in the United States Capitol representing African-Americans, including Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sojourner Truth.
Companion legislation was also introduced Friday in the House of Representatives by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY).
“For the first time in history, there are more than 20 Black women serving in the United State Congress—and we all stand on the shoulders of Shirley Chisholm,” said Senator Harris. “Shirley’s legacy inspires us to continue our fight to give a voice to the voiceless and pursue justice and equality for every American. Her legacy deserves to stand tall in the United States Capitol.”
“Shirley Chisholm used the authority of her experience to create nutrition assistance programs, expand health care services for parents and children, increase the minimum wage, support the veterans of our Armed Forces, and provide opportunities for women in college, graduate school, and collegiate and professional sports with the enactment of Title IX,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “For this and countless other reasons, Congress should honor Chisholm’s life and living legacy and her contribution to advancing civil and human rights by among other defining figures in our nation’s history.”
A native of New York, Chisholm served in the New York State Assembly before she was the first Black woman to be elected to the United States Congress. Chisholm was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the first Black woman to seek a major party’s nomination for president.
In addition to Harris, the bill is cosponsored by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Patty Murray (D-WA).
For full bill text, click here.