Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
“In the early 70’s, after a great deal of effort by feminists, we got close to having a real childcare system. When Richard Nixon vetoed the childcare bill, that was a tragic moment in history. And we’ve been paying for it ever since. I can’t think of a more important issue that early feminists raised than childcare.”
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is now in her twelfth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia. While in college she was active in the civil rights movement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Her time with SNCC inspired her lifelong commitment to social activism and her budding sense of feminism. After law school, she worked for the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 1970, Mayor John Lindsay appointed Norton as the head of the New York City Human Rights Commission, and she held the first hearings in the country on discrimination against women. Norton represented sixty female employees of Newsweek in a complaint to the EEOC that Newsweek policy only allowed men to be reporters. The women won, and Newsweek agreed to allow women to be reporters. The Congresswoman's work for full congressional voting representation, and for full democracy for the people of the District of Columbia, continues her lifelong struggle for universal human and civil rights.