Former US Rep. Carrie Meek remembered as trailblazer

Nov 28, 2021, 7:27 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2021, 11:45 am

Rep. Carrie Meek, D-Fla., smiles as she speaks during services at Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in Miami, July 7, 2002. Meek, the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper’s daughter who became one of the first black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. She was 95. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Carrie Meek, who died Sunday, is being remembered as a trailblazer, a descendent of a slave who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction. But the late Congressman John Lewis had another way of describing her.

”We see showboats and we see tugboats. She’s a tugboat. I never want to be on the side of issues against her,” Lewis said of Meek in a 1999 news article.

Politicians and public figures on Monday recalled Meek’s pioneering career, with many noting her devotion to working class families in her Miami district as well as her powerful oratory, in an outpouring of support after her death at 95 years old after a long illness.

“Throughout her decades of public service, she was a champion for opportunity and progress, including following her retirement, as she worked to ensure that every Floridian had a roof over his or her head and access to a quality education,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“On the Appropriations Committee where we both served, she was a force, bringing to bear the special power of her soft accent and strong will for her community and country. Indeed, she was formidable in meeting the needs of her community, including by advocating for Haitian immigrants and refugees and creating economic opportunities for working families in her district,” Pelosi continued.

Meek was 66 when she won the 1992 Democratic congressional primary in her Miami-Dade County district, later winning the seat in an unopposed general election race. On her first day in Congress, Meek reflected that while her grandmother, a slave on a Georgia farm, could never have dreamed of such an accomplishment, her parents told her that anything was possible.

“They always said the day would come when we would be recognized for our character,” she told The Associated Press in an interview that day.

In Congress, she was a champion of affirmative action, economic opportunities for the poor and efforts to bolster democracy in and ease immigration restrictions on Haiti, the birthplace of many of her constituents. She was a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee and worked to secure $100 million in aid to rebuild Dade County as the area recovered from Hurricane Andrew.

Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, in a statement, called Meek an “exemplary role model for elected officials like me who broke down barriers so that we could follow the path she paved and succeed.”

“Congresswoman Meek was the granddaughter of slaves who likely never have imagined how far she would go, but to the benefit of generations yet unborn, her parents encouraged her to believe that she could achieve anything she set her mind on — and she did,” Wilson said.

Even before Meek’s death, lawmakers lauded her work.

“Only in America can the granddaughter of a slave and the daughter of a former sharecropper believe that she can achieve and conquer all that presents itself in opposition to her dreams,” the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, who died in April, said of Meek in 2003. “Carrie Meek has set the stage and perpetuated the legacy of political astuteness for all of us, but particularly for African American women everywhere.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Colombia: Survivor of capsized boat off Florida is Colombian

MIAMI (AP) — The sole survivor of a capsized boat found off Florida’s coast was a young Colombian man traveling with his younger sister, Colombia’s government said Friday. Authorities in Florida have found five bodies and believe 34 others also died in the migrant voyage. Colombia’s foreign ministry said in an email that it heard […]
1 day ago
This Jan. 24, 2018, photo released by the National Park Service shows a wolf from the Wapiti Lake p...
Associated Press

Montana weighs wolf hunt limits; 23 from Yellowstone killed

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife commissioners on Friday will consider if gray wolf hunting and trapping should continue in areas bordering Yellowstone National Park after 23 of the animals roamed from the park and were killed over the past several months. Yellowstone officials have asked Montana to suspend hunting along the park border to […]
1 day ago
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares speaks to the crowd during an inaugural celebration Saturda...
Associated Press

Virginia AG: State colleges can’t mandate COVID-19 vaccines

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State colleges and universities in Virginia cannot require students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, under a legal opinion issued Friday by Virginia’s new Republican attorney general. Attorney General Jason Miyares found that because the state legislature has not passed legislation specifically mandating coronavirus vaccines for students, the colleges and universities don’t […]
1 day ago
This image released by HBO Max shows John Cena in a scene from the series "Peacemaker." (HBO Max vi...
Associated Press

‘Peacemaker’ puts John Cena film character in topical light

NEW YORK (AP) — In last year’s “The Suicide Squad,” John Cena’s Peacemaker is a jingoistic, bigoted superhero. Transferring the DC Comics character to a TV series spinoff gave writer-director James Gunn a forum to hold the flawed character to the light in these days of political divide. Cena, one of the biggest stars of […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Poland says Russia-Ukraine tensions not seen in decades

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Russian troop movements near Ukraine’s border that have ratcheted up fears of a potential invasion have complicated the international political scene to a degree not seen in decades, Poland’s president said Friday. President Andrzej Duda said the situation is “difficult” and reminiscent of 1989 when Moscow-led communist rule collapsed in Central […]
1 day ago
FILE—This file photo from Oct. 23, 2020, shows mail-in ballots for the U.S. 2020 General Election...
Associated Press

Pennsylvania court strikes down expansive mail-in voting law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A statewide court declared Friday that Pennsylvania’s expansive two-year-old mail-in voting law is unconstitutional, agreeing with challenges by Republicans who soured on mail-in voting after then-President Donald Trump began baselessly attacking it as rife with fraud in 2020’s campaign. The decision, by a five-judge Commonwealth Court panel of three Republicans and […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Former US Rep. Carrie Meek remembered as trailblazer