In Profile: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
This week, WAND/WiLL recognizes the accomplishments of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-14). Her district includes Roosevelt Island and parts of Manhattan and Queens. Maloney has been in Congress since 1992, when she won a close race against longtime incumbent Bill Green. With her election, she became the first woman elected to the district and the first Democrat to hold the seat in a decade. Before running for Congress, Maloney worked as a member of the New York City Council, where she was the first person to give birth while serving and the first woman to represent her district. While in the Council, she produced the first bill in the state granting rights to unmarried couples, including gay couples.
Maloney serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Financial Services, where she is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. She was the first woman to act as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee. Maloney previously co-chaired the House Caucus on Women’s Issues, and she helped found and currently co-chairs the Human Trafficking Caucus. Maloney has been rated as New York’s most active representative, as demonstrated through her many contributions of bills and amendments, especially on women’s issues.
Maloney has been a loyal advocate for women throughout her time in Congress. She has helped to clear the national backlog of rape kits through writing and assuring the passage of the Debbie Smith Act, and she has introduced a number of bills to prevent human and sex trafficking and provide assistance to victims. She has also written laws to help families with child care, extend family leave rights to couples with legal unions outside heterosexual marriage, and protect women who are breastfeeding. She has fought for international women’s health initiatives as well as equality for women in the U.S. Every year, Maloney continues the tradition of reintroducing the Equal Rights Amendment.
Maloney garnered national attention in February when she and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) walked out of an Oversight Committee hearing on birth control coverage that featured a panel comprised solely of men. The Democrats offered a female witness, law student Sandra Fluke, and when the committee chairman refused to allow her to join the panel or take a vote on whether she could speak, Maloney and Norton left the hearing. Before Maloney walked out, she declared, "What I want to know is, where are the women? I look at this panel, and I don't see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services, including family planning."
WAND/WiLL is proud to acknowledge Congresswoman Maloney’s impressive record of advocacy for women’s rights domestically and abroad.
-Hayley Anderson, Intern - Northeastern Class of 2015