In Profile: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
WAND/WiLL is pleased to recognize Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has represented Florida’s 20th District since 2005 and was the first Jewish Congresswoman ever elected from Florida. Before Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz joined the U.S. Congress, she served in the Florida State House of Representative for eight years, first as a Representative from 1992-2000 and then as a Senator from 2000-2004. Wasserman Schultz was a member of WAND’s program for women state legislators, the Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL), during her time in the state house. The Congresswoman has shown great leadership and activism over the years and we are proud to recognize this WAND/WiLL woman.
As the Democratic Vice-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has fought hard to promote women’s political, social, economical and educational rights and issues. In March 2011, she co-sponsored a bill urging the U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In addition, the Congresswoman worked tirelessly to protect women’s rights in the workplace by sponsoring the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law in 2009.
In May 2011, President Obama appointed Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz to head the Democratic National Committee (DNC), making her the first woman unanimously elected Chair of the DNC. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz also currently serves on the House Committee on the Budget. She is a member of the Democratic House Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip and serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, a breast cancer survivor, is a vocal proponent not only for increasing awareness about breast cancer but also promoting women’s health issues. In March 2009, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz introduced the Education and Awareness Require Learning Young Act. This legislation, which became a law in 2010, allowed the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to create and enact national campaigns to educate young women and at risk ethnic, cultural and racial groups about the dangers of breast cancer. She has also sponsored various resolutions and legislation supporting breast cancer research, cancer survivors, and preventive cancer treatment and therapy.
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is a close friend of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head in an assassination attempt last January. Wasserman Schultz and Gifford’s friendship serves as an inspiring story of women who are rewriting Washington's boys'-club rules, profiled in this great piece.
WAND/WiLL is proud to support Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, her leadership, and all her efforts to fight for the rights of women and families.
Written by WAND DC Intern Christina Djossa.