Shining Star, Chisholm

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I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm who went to the ancestors on January 1, 2005 after remaining in our midst for 80 years. Hers was a full and productive life. She made a difference in our lives. America owes her a debt of gratitude for her outstanding contribution to the body politic , and the impact that she made on the daily lives of ordinary Americans and women in particular.

Her influence and legacy will remain long after she is gone. Shirley Chisholm was one of the influential leaders of the 20th century and a product of the very difficult days of Jim Crowism, racism and institutionalized discrimination based on skin color. Her legacy is that she was able to transcend all these obstacles and to give her work a certain brand of integrity, principle and objectivity. As a leader she was a rarity.

As we celebrate the life and times of Shirley Chisholm let it be remembered that America is a far better place than when she found it, and that is in no small measure to her profound influence on American life as a political leader and activist. May she rest in peace.

By New York State Senator John Sampson

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