Sunday, December 16, 2007

When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind

It is my sorrow to report that Congresswoman Julia Carson, of Indiana's 7th district, has passed away.

She always voted her conscience, she always said what she thought, she always represented the least of her constituents as if they were her biggest donors, she always spoke truth to power and she always seemed so strong, so dynamic that it seemed she would always be with us. She was a true representative of the people.

... ... ...
I just looked back at what I wrote and it looks like every damn political tribute ever written. I wasn't trying to do that, I was just trying to do justice to one of the best people I've ever met and one of the best ever elected.

Her life story puts Hollywood screenwriters to shame.
Raised by an unwed mother who cleaned white folks' houses to put her thru school.
After high school she married and had 2 children.
It didn't work out and she put herself thru college while raising the children.
In 1965 Julia was working as a secretary for the UAW when newly elected Congressman Andy Jacobs hired her as his legislative assistant.

Just think what it meant that in 1965 a white congressman in his first term hired a black woman to run his office.

And Julia did that until Andy knew he'd lose the 1972 election after his district had been gerrymandered. He insisted she run for statewide office and she served in the Indiana House and Senate until 1990.

Andy Jacobs won the election in 1974 and retired in 1996 and Julia ran for his US Congressional seat. And won.

She was always outspent, and even tho her district was gerrymandered and reapportioned, she never lost an election. The only fight she ever lost was to cancer.

Julia Carson was the epitome of the ideal of our democracy.

And in these dark days of our country, I grieve her loss but take hope that we can survive and flourish as Julia did.