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New York's 44th congressional district

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The 44th Congressional District of New York was a congressional district for the United States House of Representatives in New York. It was created in 1945. It was eliminated as a result of the 1950 Census. It was last represented by John C. Butler.

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  • ✪ Rep. Candice Miller & Rep. Janice Hahn
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>> From the Library of Congress in Washington DC. >> David Mao: Good morning everyone. Well-- I feel like I should be standing here and singing the national anthem. But I don't want to scare anybody away since we have a nice crowd here. My name is David Mao and I have the honor of serving as the acting Librarian of Congress. Welcome to the Library of Congress. It is our nation's oldest, Federal, cultural institution. Excuse me, I should say our first, Federal, cultural institution. And we are just so delighted that all of you could be with us here today. We are the Library of Congress and we were created by Congress 216-- almost 216 years ago. And have been generously supported by Congress over the years to become the world's largest library. And we're very proud of that fact. But we are the nation's library but as our name suggests. We are the Library for Congress. And so that's why I think it's particularly appropriate that we are in this room today for this very special program. This room in this building when it was opened in 189-- 1897. Served as the reading room for the House of Representatives. And today it's known as the member's room and reserved for the use of members of Congress. And so with that, we're very delighted to have with us 2 members of Congress today. In this room, to tell us a little bit about their careers. Chairman Candice Miller from Michigan and Representative Janice Hahn from California. They're here to kick off our celebration of women's history month. Both Chairman Miller and Representative Hahn have had distinguished careers in public service. And so we're very much looking forward to hearing from them. Their thoughts about their time in Congress. And in particular the role that gender plays in today's political leadership and landscape. Our discussion will be lead and moderated by my colleague, Doctor Colleen Shogan. Who is the director of our national-- excuse me, Deputy Director of National and International Outreach here at the library. Today's topic though, of course, is of particular interest to Colleen. Because as the former Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She had authored at her time in CRS, an often cited CRS report on Women in Congress. So-- please join me in welcoming all of our distinguished members of Congress and Doctor Colleen Shogan. Thank you [applause]. >> Colleen Shogan: Welcome to the Library of Congress and this beautiful room this morning. As at the end of our program we hope to have time for questions from the audience. But I'm going to kick it off this morning. You both have had very long and distinguished careers in politics. But you both had different entries into public service. So can you tell us about how and why you became interested in government service in the first place? Chairman Miller. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Well for me, I live in-- Chairman-- or David Mao was just talking about the tenth district. You know, in Michigan we have a map of the state on the end of our arm. So I-- live in this area here. This is my-- district. And-- on the Great Lakes and my family was in the marina business. So I actually sold boats for a living. And-- I raised sailboats and that was sort of our-- hobby. And our way we made our living, our social-- everything. Everything was boating oriented. And when I was in my mid-20's, the local township decided they were going to pass an ordinance to tax all the marinas. Because about 40% of the commercial tax base in our area is all marina oriented. And in a family business you do everything. I mean everything, right? From doing the books to selling boats to whatever. And I remember telling-- I was doing the books. And I remember telling my dad. I said, "We just can't afford this!" They were going to tax so much for wet storage in the-- in the water storage, so much for dry storage. And I said-- you-- I don't know. I probably said, "Taxation without representation" or I don't know what I was saying you know. And my dad sort of padded me on the head. He says, "Oh no-- " Because he used to call me Candy-- don't tell anyone that but-- [laughter]. Yes, yes but then when I ran for office I said, "I have to be Candice now." But anyway, he said, "Well Candy, you know, you can't-- fight city hall so-- " >> Colleen Shogan: Right. Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: "You know, this is what we got to do." I said, "Well then-- " I just couldn't believe it. So I went around to all these marinas and got these petitions signed. And long story, short went into the township off-- the township board meeting. And you know, gosh I was so riled up but I was sitting way in the back of the room. And I'll never forget when they got to our-- agenda item. All these guys that own the marina said, "Okay, you know, get up there and tell them." And I went [Gasp]. I still can remember my heart pounding. Because I had never spoken publicly or anything. Never thought about politics. And sometimes for me, I think anxiety almost manifests itself in anger. So I was like, "Listen! [laughs] can't do this". And we were successful. I thought, "Oh my gosh! If you're really obnoxious you could become a politician!" You know [laughs] so then I'm looking at all these other people on the board. And it thought, "Hey I could do that." So then I ran, I was too young to know I wouldn't win but I won. And that's-- here I am. >> Colleen Shogan: Representative Hahn. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Well I had a-- sort of a different entry. You know your family was in boating and marinas. My family actually was in politics. So it's really everything we talked about. We talked about politics at the dinner table. My dad was a 46 year elected official in Los Angeles County. My brother was the City Controller, the City attorney and then the Mayor of Los Angeles. So our family-- it was really our family business. I didn't quite embrace it. In the beginning, I actually have my teaching credential-- my secondary teaching credential. I actually taught junior high and high school. I went into small business. I worked for an investor-owned utility. I worked for a trash company. I sort of did all these other things and then I think it just hit me. The DNA kicked in. It's one of those moments where you're sort of, you know, lying in bed at night. And you're like, "You know what? What am I supposed to be doing here?" And it was very clear to me that the best way I could affect change in my community and my neighborhood was to run for-- public office. I lost my first race. I was like the first member of my family to ever lose in a race [laughter]. It was very humiliating and embarrassing. But you know what? I knew that that's what I wanted to do. And then 8 years later I ran again and was elected to the Los Angeles City Council. You know I waited so long to actually-- it wasn't until I was 49 or 50 when I actually had my first elected office. And so, sort of funny that finally when I got elected in 2001. It was the same night that my brother was elected Mayor. So [laughter] I joke that even my mother went to his victory party, you know? [laughter]. That's how I got into politics. >> Colleen Shogan: At a certain point one day you both decided to run for Congress. Can you tell us about that moment when you decided to run for Congress? And what influenced your decision? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Well I had 2 different moments because I ran in 80-- gosh. Isn't it terrible? I can't remember if it was '84 or '86? I ran for Congress. I was 30 at the time, trying to remember. So-- anyway and lost and lost. And so-- I was-- I was you know. I had been the Township supervisor. I started my career, political career as a Township trustee for a short period of time. Then I became a supervisor in Michigan. That's really like being a Mayor right? And we had one of the larger townships in the state. And so then I ran for congress and-- lost. And-- that's the only race that I've lost. But I recognize all the reasons why I did loose. But anyway, then I-- was still the Township Supervisor. I think I ran for one more term after that. Then I was the County Treasurer in Macomb County which you sometimes hear this term. The Reagan's-- Reagan democrats. That term had its genesis really in the political nomenclature in our County. And you-- you'll probably hear tomorrow night at the Fox Theatre with the Republican Presidential debate. And-- when the dems are in Flint on Sunday. They'll be talking a little bit about Macomb County. Because it's about whether we don't even know if we're democrats, republicans, what we are half the time. We're like we're in a Petri dish, you know? They're like, "What are they going to-- what are they going to do?" But anyway, then I was the sec-- Michigan secretary of state for 8 years. And we have term limits in Michigan. And as secretary that's one of the 4 constitutional offices in the state. And so you know in term limits it's a-- [Noise]. >> Colleen Shogan: That's the ghost of the members room. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Oh! [Laughs]. >> Colleen Shogan: Don't worry about it. >> Rep. Candice Miller: What's its name? [Laughter] Woo-hoo! Anyway, he does not like term limits. That's what I was talking about. >> Colleen Shogan: That's right. Right? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Anyway, the-- so term limits it's you know, "nice job but drive thru." And so then I was trying to decide, "Should I go back into the private sector selling boats? Or doing something else?" And-- then I decided to run for Congress. And so I came here the ra-- the race was in '02 [noise]. I got-- I have the microphone Mr. Ghost. >> Colleen Shogan: Right? >> Rep. Candice Miller: I came here in '02, started in '03. And I have been here now-- so this is 14 years. And of course both of us are deciding to do something else with our-- lives, right? We both have another dance in us, whatever that is. So-- I'm just finishing my seventh term. Which has been the most incredible experience I have ever had. >> Colleen Shogan: Yeah, absolutely. Representative Hahn. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: So that after I lost the city council race in 1993. Until I won the city council in 2001. Those you know 8 years, I was really focused on-- I was a single mother at the time. I was raising my 3 kids. I was an investment banker. This was when I was really just focusing on you know jobs and making money. And in 1998, my member of Congress, Jane Harman decided to run for Governor of California. So she stepped down and now that I'm back here I understand how the individual caucuses work. And if some member wants to give up their seat. Man, it is a full court press to find a good candidate to run in their race and replace them. So they came after me [noise]. It's the ghost of former members [laughter] which is where we're going to be very soon. >> Rep. Candice Miller: We'll be back here haunting. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Yes, right. So I got phone calls from Steny Hoyer. I never heard of Steny Hoyer. I got-- actually got a call from President Clinton. Vice President Gore, they were all trying to recruit someone who had a similar profile to Jane Harman, right? A woman, same initials-- [laughter]. I-- in my heart of hearts wasn't feeling it. But I-- it got to the sort of answering the call to my country. You know, they're really asking me to do this so I did it and lost. It was apparently one of the closest congressional races in the country. Lost by just 2 percentage points which is not very much in a congressional race. But you know what? It's like the best thing that ever happened to me. I do believe that things happen for a reason. You don't always know it when you're going through it. And it's never fun to lose. But as a result of me not going to Congress in 1998. That's when then I was elected to the local city council. And I got to cut my own political teeth at the local level. And that was important for me as a woman. I sort of grew up being the daughter of-- and the sister of-- these 2 very successful make politicians in Los Angeles County. So it was really important for me to cut my own political teeth in the Los Angeles City Council. So for 10 years I served there. We also have term limits in City Council. So I was bumping up to my 12 years. And once again, Jane Harman. She went back and after I lost. She was like, "Well clearly Janice couldn't do that. I have to come back and win that seat." And then she called me again one early February morning. And said, "I'm resigning from Congress this week. And I think you ought to run for my seat." So thought about it. You know, kind of called my political consultants and we had our website up by noon [laughter]. And this time it felt right. It felt good. And so I was elected in 2011 in the special election. >> Colleen Shogan: Throughout your careers, you both witnessed a transformation of women's political participation in particularly electoral politics. Can you tell us how has that transformation? How has that evolution affected you personally? From the time in which you began your public service. When you began your career. How it was then to what you see now as more women start to participate in electoral politics? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Me first? >> Colleen Shogan: Sure go ahead. >> Rep. Candice Miller: You know I would just say this. I think-- when I was-- when I was first running for office. I was also a single mother at that time. And I couldn't afford a babysitter. And I dragged my little daughter around. Whose now in her 40's and the mother of the world's 2 most beautiful grandchildren. But I-- >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Wait until you see mine. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Know you would argue with that one. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know. >> Rep. Candice Miller: But I dragged her around the neighborhoods going door to door in a wagon. I tried to make a game out of it, you know? Because I just couldn't afford a sitter. And there we-- and people were looking at me going. First I was young, right? I mean in my 20's but then more than that. They'd say, "I mean you're like a woman." >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Seriously, you know? "What are you doing? And now you want to be you know the supervisor? Oh yeah right." And so I was the first female supervisor in my community. And then I was the first County Treasurer in my County-- first woman. Then I was the first woman secretary of state in Michigan. >> Colleen Shogan: There's a theme here. >> Rep. Candice Miller: You know? Well-- but you know all of these things and sometimes you know I'm-- as you might know I'm the only woman chairman. >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: In the House of Representatives. >> Colleen Shogan: Yes. >> Rep. Candice Miller: But you know what the truth is really. I mean I got the whole woman thing. But I've never really, you know. "Oh you're the woman member of Congress." I'm like, "Well I don't know. I'm like the-- I'm the member of Congress. And in issues that they talk about for women." I think all issues are women's issues, you know. Sometimes they'll say, "Oh well okay. Here's the health issues. Now, you know, this is the woman's issue" Right? You and I sit on transportation. What's more important to women than-- >>Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Transportation. Really, right? Whatever they're-- whether they're flying or being in their car or-- >> Colleen Shogan: Exactly. >>Rep. Candice Miller: Safety in rail or-- you know everything. And I'm the Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee. What's more important to women than security? Security of the homeland, etcetera. But it has changed over the years. Because where it was a negative. Then at one point it seemed they said, "Well people would now vote for you because you are a woman." >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: And really I think if it can just be because of the merits. That's really where we all need to go but I've also always said this. I think we need more women to be involved in politics. Whether you're democrat, republican. Whether you're running for Congress or you're running for your local school board. We need to have more women. We need to have their view. And I think it is for all of us that do hold public office to conduct ourselves well. As well as we can because you know what? It's very generational. And the next generation of women need to be thinking about how they can succeed in politics and have an impact. Because it is-- we do have a different mindset. We are all biological beings after all, right? >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I-- am pleased with the evolution of seeing more women participating in politics. Particularly running for office and being elected. I think the evolution has helped, you know, those of us who are women and in office. And those who may be thinking about it. When I first ran for office, there were very few women who were my role models. Who had been elected to office. Very few. In fact, my staff always cracks up at this story. Wasn't really funny at the time. But when I went through my divorce, my ex actually filed for full custody of the children. Because he said if I was elected to office, it would make me an unfit mother. >> Colleen Shogan: Wow. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: So yeah I know. You kind of laugh about that now. But you know there was this feeling even you know in the'90's. It's hard to believe. That there was still this feeling that that's not where a woman really belonged was in the political arena. So I think it helps that more women are-- running for office and being elected. And as Candice said, you know, we need more women. In congress, we're only 20% of women. Even though we're 50% of the population. We're only 20% of the members of Congress. You know, I think one of the statistics that was amazing to me when I got elected. I, you know, all the years in Congress. There'd only been 212, you know, women elected, you know. And now of course-- >> Rep. Candice Miller: It's hard, yeah. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: We're you know kind of upping that number. But I do believe that women come to the table with a different set of experiences. I do believe we have sort of a different perspective. And I like the way we govern. I think we govern more-- with more collaboration. I think we like to find common ground and consensus. And solve problems so I like the way women govern. But I'm wondering if we're almost-- it's now, it's going the other way. Because when I'm looking to recruit for political offices. I'm looking for good women. I have a hard time now. There are women who now, you know, have careers. And actually watching politics, particularly during this presidential year. There's a lot of women that are like, "I don't really want to do that. You know, that's really nasty. That's-- do we really want to put our families through that? Do I really want to, you know, have everything in my life scrutinized?" So I think it's-- I'm finding less women now who are wanting to run. They'll be involved, will help you on your campaign. More and more women are understanding what it means to make a contribution to a-- to a woman who's running for office. But I'm thinking women are sort of now, you know, like not as excited about being in office. Because of what's happened to our politics of civility. Which sometimes you wonder if that even exists anymore. >> Colleen Shogan: I'm going to ask you to both-- you got into this a little bit Representative Hahn. But I need to ask you both to engage in the thought experiment with us. As you said, 20% of members of Congress are women in the current Congress. And I want to ask you, what would the institution-- what would congress look like? Or how would it operate differently if 50% of its members were women? Or even 51% of its members were women? How would the institution operate differently if at all? >> Rep. Candice Miller: I do think it would be a bit different. I do think-- I think most of us would agree that women have a bit of a different perspective on how they approach things. Whatever your political ideology is, more of the cultural way that you approach various things. Where you are trying to reach a consensus. I think more often than just you know, "Okay I don't agree with you. I'm going to put on the war paint here. We're going, you know? Let's just think about how we might be able to get through these things." And now, I'm not talking from an ideology standpoint. >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: But just the approach to problem solving. I think is a bit different. And-- so I think in-- of all the various issues in that. If we just had more voices for women. I think-- I think that would be an important thing. But I will agree with you. I think where you had an easier time recruiting women. Because I've done candidate recruitment for my party. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: I know you have for you party. It does seem it's a-- it's a-- it's a little more difficult now. And-- which is not good. >> Colleen Shogan: No. >> Rep. Candice Miller: It's not good for the country. Although with all of our problems, only having 20% in the Congress, I'll tell you. You know one of the opportunities I've had in this job is travel. You know, you have as well. But I can remember going to Afghanistan and we landed in Kabul. Which you know is sort of like a saucer, right? With all the mountain range around it and all the snow melt was coming down. And these children are standing there in the snow melt with no shoes. And you know, you could just see they were-- they're not going to make it, you know? And they don't have any facilities there for their women or their children. These-- some of these societies, I'm sorry, they just don't care about their women so much. And then traveling to we went to see Karzai. And traveling to the Presidential Palace, it was like teeming with people. And I kept saying, "Well where are the women? Where are they?" It's so bizarre. So for all of our problems, you know, I tell young women that all the time. Just go do it man. Because you-- have opportunities here. You might have challenges but you don't have the challenges your sisters in many other countries have. So take advantage. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Anyhow I was thinking about this question. What would run differently if there were more women? I don't know. Maybe we would carpet all the marble halls [laughter]. Because there's so hard on our high heels. >> Rep. Candice Miller: This is a sensible shoe caucus. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know. I got shin splints my first year in Congress [laughter]. But I-- think beyond that you know. I find that my friendships with the few women in Congress are really special. And they, you know, it allows me even across the aisle to find, you know, areas of common ground. Areas of consensus and there is not the-- you know, the hostility that exists. I think sometimes between the men. I mean we don't have testosterone. That changes a lot of things [laughter]. Changes a lot of the-- you know, the atmosphere. It changes a lot of where you go on a conversation. It changes a lot of you know the agenda of-- the house. So I would love to see more women in Congress. I think it would you know really be an opportunity to show you know the world. That you know we can be from different parties and yet we can get along. And we can find common ground. And I think it would-- I think it would help if we had more women. I'd love to see more women you know chairs of committees. I just think, you know-- >> Rep. Candice Miller: You don't think one is enough? >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know right? I know. You know-- >> Rep. Candice Miller: One is not enough? We could have a few more [laughs]. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I, you know, I think we run things differently. Again, I think we just bring different perspectives to the table. >> Colleen Shogan: Unfortunately you're both retiring from Congress and leaving us later this year. I wonder if you could share with us some of your future plans. And what you're most looking forward to doing? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Well you know first of all. When I first came here I never thought I would stay as long as I have stayed. >> Colleen Shogan: Huh? >>Rep. Candice Miller: And I know a lot of people say that. And I think also people say, "You sort of know when is your time to go" right? >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: When you're done. And that was really true for me. But I thought I would be here 6 years, 8 years maybe. You know I'm going to tell you though. It's like any other job I guess. Maybe more so than a lot of jobs. It's sort of insidious, you know. Pretty soon you think, "Well now I'm the chairman. I can't leave now or I got this issue I'm working on. I can't leave now". Well pretty soon you're never going to leave. And then they're going to maybe take you out on a gurney. And I don't want go that way [laughter]. And I truly love Michigan. I'm a Michigan girl. And I want to go home to Michigan. So I'm looking forward to whatever it is next. I'm not quite sure what? But I'll tell you the experiences that I have had here. There's absolutely no second. And so I-- you know, I don't know how-- I hope to be of value at somewhere. I might run for office again, you know. I might not. I might go back into the private sector. But I also say this. This is just my personal feeling. I-- really do think the founding fathers always thought that for Congress. Particularly in the House, that you would come from various sectors of your-- of the country. And do your thing for some period of time. And then you would go back. Not just be here forever. And really if you want to know the truth and this is not a partisan thing. Sometimes I think part of the gridlock problems we have is because some people don't leave. They never go. So even when you have a Presidential election. Now you have a new President but then you still have-- then they go. "Oh okay well here's this new guy. But here they-- they've all been here." >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: So I don't know. That's-- I'm not-- and I'm not saying about any particular person. I'm just saying in my observation I do think it's the people's house. You know, I don't-- I don't know what the right amount of time is. But I don't think it should be forever. >> Colleen Shogan: Okay. Representative Hahn. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: So I'm-- well have been here only 5 years this July. And when I end my term at the end of the year, it'll be like 5 and a half years. But I am going home to Los Angeles. And I'm currently-- I'm going to be on the ballot for County Supervisor in Los Angeles. So it's the same job my dad did for 40 years. I sort of grew up in the County of Los Angeles. And kind of really understood what a supervisor was in LA County. So I'm really looking forward to going home. I think-- you know, when I said I cut my teeth on the City Council. I-- really believe for me, it's a better fit for me, is local government. I like the idea of sort of where the rubber meets the road. I like you know seeing my constituents in the grocery store. And you know they want their tree trimmed or their pothole filled or their sidewalk-- I like that. I like actually seeing the fruits of my labor. Seeing a problem and solving it. There's only 5 members of the County Board of Supervisors. And actually with my candidacy, there is a historic opportunity for 3 females to be on the LA County Board of Supervisors. For the first time in the history of the County. My dad was there. It was you know the old boy's network. It was-- they called them the 5 kings. And-- but now with diversity and more women I look forward to working with 2 other women, you know, out of-- out of 5. To really, you know, talk about you know issues that matter to most people in the county of Los Angeles. So I'm-- I know where I'm going. And I feel good but I-- will look back on my time here. As of course being such an amazing experience. Really such an opportunity to serve as a member of Congress. It's really been a very special and satisfying to me. But frustrating also just in the gridlock. You know I think I landed in one of the more partisan political divides that Congress has been in a long time. And I don't enjoy it. I decided I don't enjoy partisan politics. Los Angeles County Supervisor is non-partisan. You just you know you look at a problem and you solve it. And you don't really have to worry about one side or the other making political points. And I think it'll be a better fit for me. And if I never get on a plane again [laughter]. It will be too soon. I have a 3,000 mile commute every week. I fly here on Mondays and fly home on Thursdays every week. And that has taken a toll. >> Colleen Shogan: Oh yeah, yeah. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: So-- which is why I was trying to pass legislation about seat sizes [laughter]. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Yeah [laughs]. Why? We have 7 inches. How much room do you need there? >> Rep. Janice Hahn: After 6 hours like, "Oh, it's so uncomfortable." >> Colleen Shogan: Chairman Miller. We have one last question for you. It's sort of a humorous question. I wonder if you could tell us about your nickname? And-- "old goat" and how you got that nickname? And why you are so proud to have earned it? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Well, jeez the old goat [laughter]. I told you I used to race sailboats. >> Colleen Shogan: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: And my whole family does. But anyway, there is sort of a Marquis race-- Freshwater Sailboat Race in the world really. Is on Lake Huron. It's Port Huron to Mackinac. Any of you heard of Mackinac Island. >>Colleen Shogan: Yeah. >> Rep. Candice Miller: So there's this Port Huron to Mackinac race. There's another one in Chicago to Mackinac. And-- first of all I will tell you I was in the first all-female crew in the Chicago Mackinac. And also the first all-female crew in the Port Huron to Mackinac. >> Colleen Shogan: Yay. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Many years ago. I was 15 at the time. >> Colleen Shogan: Very cool. >> Rep. Candice Miller: "Oh my gosh, I can't even-- " I'm really dating myself. But anyway, in Port Huron race after you compete in 25 of these races. They induct you into what they call the Old Goat Society. And I've done 29 of them. So I am actually an old nanny goat. >> Colleen Shogan: Oh! >> Rep. Candice Miller: And-- >>Colleen Shogan: You're a goat. >> Rep. Candice Miller: And I know this to be true. I am the only old nanny goat in the United States count. >> Colleen Shogan: Wow, there you go. >> Rep. Candice Miller: [Laughs]. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: And you can keep that title [laughter]. >> Rep. Candice Miller: I earned it baby. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Right. >> Rep. Candice Miller: [Laughs]. >> Colleen Shogan: So now we-- can like open it up to questions from the audience. If you do chose to ask a question, please just be aware that we are videotaping this conversation. So if anybody would like to ask a question, please raise your hand. Take questions at this time. Robert. >> Robert: I'd like to ask the members if there were any books that they've read along the way that influenced their thinking in Congress? Or influenced their thinking about leadership? >> Rep. Candice Miller: I'm not going to say "The Art of the Deal" [laughter]. I don't know if there was ever any one particular book that has influenced me. But-- I don't know if I can answer that question. Really I can't think of one particular book that really influenced me. People more I think. Individual experiences and that. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: So I had fund reading "Game Change". And I had fun reading "This Town." Those were really a little bit behind the scenes political campaigns. And kind of what goes into that and how that translates to actually being in governance. I found those books-- and I enjoy the books that were having our congressional dialogue. >>Rep. Candice Miller: Yes. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: "Lyndon Johnson", "Reagan" and "Kennedy" coming up. I've really enjoyed those to kind of really take us back to the way it was. It was like, again though, in those books it's like where are the women? But-- >> Colleen Shogan: Yup, I did. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Still those really have in-- have-- reminded me where I am. And reminded me who's gone before me. And reminded me of the, you know, sometimes incredible fights that went on to achieve certain policies for the American people. So I've really enjoyed those. >> Rep. Candice Miller: That's true. The history of this place-- >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Is sometimes, you know, honestly I'm sure we all have this feeling. You know sometimes in the winter when-- it's days are short. And you're walking across Independence Avenue over here to go vote at the Capitol. And there's the Capitol all lit up and you know you're walking-- you're looking at the lady Freedom Statue. Thinking, "Man you go girl". That's really something, right? >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know, right? >>Rep. Candice Miller: And you just pinch yourself thinking. "How, what-- am I even-- how did I even get here?" With all the history that has happened here. And really in this Capitol it's quite something. >> Colleen Shogan: Other questions? Anybody else in the audience? >> You spoke to the importance of the diversity in gender in Congress. And I'd like to hear both of you speak to how you think we are doing in terms of diversity and ethnicity in Congress? And what are our losses and gains related to that? >> Rep. Candice Miller: We are not doing particularly well. I don't think. Certainly on my side of the isle, we need to do a much better job. And don't think that we're not all aware of it. I will tell you though, I think in politics generally. I mentioned to you earlier I mean I was the Secretary of State of Michigan. And when I first ran for that job I was running against and older African American incumbent. And the truth-- and here I was running as the first female, right? And really I will tell you in all sincerity. That race-- I don't think anyone ever said. "Oh well we need to vote for him because he's an African American. Or we need to vote for her because she's the woman." It really was about the issues. And I have always thought about that because at some point that's where we need to be as a country, right? Whatever the-- whatever the-- issues are, is always got to be paramount. And you know this is the land of opportunity and all men and women are created equal. So but we need to do a much better job. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I will say I'm proud of the Democratic caucus. Actually has-- this is I think our first time when we've actually had a majority of minority representation in our Democratic caucus. So we have more women, more African Americans and more Latinos and Asian Americans. Than I think ever before in our caucus so-- but I-- do-- I agree you know. It should be about the issues. And I actually represent a minority district right now. I represent a district that's-- you know, 48% Latino, 28% African American. So I represent a very you know diverse district. But I-- it's sort of like women though. I do believe people come to the table with different experiences. And I think for those, you know, our diverse ethnicity. Our African Americans, our Latinos, our Asian Americans, our LGBT. They come with a different set of experiences and a different perspective. And they have seen life differently and I think that makes for a better congress and a better America. And you do the best you can to represent the people that have elected you. But I do love the different perspectives that come from all over this country. And people who have lived a different life than I have. And I think that makes for better policy. That makes for better judgement. That makes for I think a better understanding of what the American people are wanting from us. >> Colleen Shogan: Any other questions? Oh. Oh David, oh okay, go ahead. I didn't-- >> David Mao: Reflecting-- thank you very much for your presentation today. It was fascinating. Reflecting on your careers though. If you were speaking to a young woman who is starting out in politics today. Whether it be on the local level, state level or even a new member of Congress. What one piece of advice would you give them to think about to guide them along their way? >>Rep. Candice Miller: I would say that they need to find the balance between their professional life and their family. And that they can find that balance. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: How do you do that? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Yeah [laughs]. Well they need to do it. Otherwise and that's-- I think that's why women don't want to do it, right? And often times because not only are they the caregivers for their children. They're usually the caregivers if they have older parents. They're all of these things, right? And then women also have a-- just for whatever reason. Whether it's because of the way we were all raised. We have an aversion to asking somebody for money for us, right? >> Colleen Shogan: Yeah. >> Rep. Candice Miller: You don't mind asking people for money for the local schoolboard. Or the you know the hospital board or something. But for yourself, sometimes you think it's sort of-- you just have to get over all of these things you know. So I just tell women that you know I think they need to think about finding that balance. And that it's important that we do have more women involved. And I actually go-- I try to speak to local high school kids when I can. I have throughout my entire career. Because really if a woman is going to be thinking about a political career. You need to at least plant the seed at that time that politics can be an honorable profession for them to think about. And that they should consider such a thing. And that they might want to go out and think about getting involved in a campaign or-- do something where they hopefully you know. If there's 40 in a room then hopefully there's 1 that will catch the political bug and think about running for something. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: I know. And you know actually you kind of touched on it earlier in something you said. But it is true still to this day women do have an advantage because of the-- trust issue. The-- if there's just a woman and a man on the ballot. Your pollsters will tell you. Women get a couple of points just because we're more believable. And when the negative campaigning comes against us. Less and less voters believe that. They don't believe that about us. That all the things our opponents are saying. So there is still an advantage. If I was giving a woman any kind of advice, particularly if she was coming to Congress. I would say have 2 complete sets of wardrobes [laughter]. Have everything you need at home and everything you need here. Don't be trying to remember what shoes go with what outfit. Because you know they're going to be in the other location [laughter]. But I think seriously I would just remind women to know their value. Know their value. I know Mika Brzezinski does this-- thing every year about women knowing their value. And then mostly women still have a hard time knowing their value and knowing why they're important. And knowing the role that they play. Because when you're-- particularly in Congress when you're in the minority you know. It's you know, it takes a little more courage. It takes a little more bravery to speak up. To think that your idea is really worth you know pushing. That your legislation makes sense. That you know you really are doing a good thing. Because I still think women tend to sometimes not value themselves in the way that our male counterparts do. So it does take a little bravery I think to be back here as a woman. And to speak up and to not be you know in any way intimidated. About the questions that you ask in committees, legislation that you're pushing forward. Because it can be an intimidating place I think sometimes. >> Colleen Shogan: Any further questions? Yes? >> Hi, you both mentioned that some of the friendships that you have made in Congress were particularly important to you. And I was wondering when you were first starting out. If there was a particular person or a particular moment you can remember? Where another woman in Congress really helped you out or showed you the ropes or something like that? >>Rep. Candice Miller: [Laughs] I don't know if there was one-- again one particular moment. But I've had, you know, some good friendships that have been there. Some of the women that I came into to Congress with are no longer here. You know even though people think that we all stay here forever. Actually the truth is there's a lot more turnover than you'd imagine. And some of the women that I've-- that I was good friends with have left on their own. Some got beat. Different things. But I do think women have a tendency to again, whether we're Democrats or Republicans. To talk about our family, the challenges that we're facing at home. I mean you know we have this woman's room, the Lindy Boggs room off the-- which really. It was Boehner who finally put in the ladies room off the-- off the house floor. Not that we need one, okay? [laughter] Because-- you're sort of saying, "Well where's the bathrooms over here? Well, the men's room is over here. I mean what-- is it you're looking for? Okay." But anyway [laughs] but the Lindy Boggs room is sort of where the women go. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: The only room in the Capitol named for a woman. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Yeah, yeah. And-- gosh sometimes when we're here at night voting late. I can remember one member who was on the phone obviously very distraught. And was saying you know-- I don't know whatever was happening. And she said, "You know I'm so far away." And just the anguish and you know women-- you know you've got children, grandchildren. You know your spouses, your family, whatever. It is-- and so I think women have a tendency that-- recognizing that. And want another in challenges that-- and I'm not-- believe I'm not whining about it. I'm just saying that that you know we do have that. So it's just a different situation. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: So when I came here I really hardly knew anybody. I had really not spent that much time coming to Washington DC even for lobbying trips with my City Council. I really did not spend that much time here. So I really didn't know anybody. Well one of the first people I wanted to say hello to and introduce myself was to my Republican colleague, Ted Poe from Texas. Because Ted and I are the only 2 alumnae from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, that are members of Congress. So I you know went and said hello to Ted. And we've-- we struck up, obviously a conversation based on our shared history with the university. And then I asked him to co-chair-- one of the first things that I did was created a port caucus. You know based on our nation's sea ports. It really had never been done before. And I represented the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. And he of course represented a bunch of ports in Texas, Houston area. And I said, "Would you co-chair this port caucus with me?" We now have about 100 members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats. Some of them who don't even have a port. But they're happy to be in a-- you know, sort of a collegial bipartisan effort. And it was a big thrill 2 years ago when the American Authority of-- Association of Port Authorities named Ted and I as joint port people of the year. So that was really special. You know, speaking of the Lindy Boogs room. So every Wednesday morning at 8:00 AM there is a group of women. Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Virginia Fox, Christy [inaudible] and Susan-- Senator Susan Collins and myself. And sometimes my colleague from California Lois Capps and we actually have a bible study in the Lindy Boggs room. And it's you know sometimes we-- pray and read the bible. But mostly it's talking-- >>Rep. Candice Miller: Yeah. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: About our experience here. And having someone who understands what we're going through. And we can talk to them when you can't really-- you know. Because your constituents don't really want to hear you whine about your experience, right? >> Rep. Candice Miller: Right. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: And-- it's not appropriate to complain about your experience with your constituents. But it sure is nice to have some girlfriends even from across the aisle. That you know we share the same rhythm, the experience, the timing. We have the same votes. You know we have the same schedules basically. And it helps to talk to them. So that's been a real special time for me. Now when I tell my Democratic colleagues who is in this. You know, they can't believe that I'm you know hanging out with the likes of those women. But I [laughter] really-- >> Rep. Candice Miller: Well wait until they find out what you did today. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know right [laughter] I got to hang out with you. But I find it-- >> Rep. Candice Miller: Don't tell anyone. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: I know. I find it's something that I do for myself. And it helps me get through my week here. >> Rep. Candice Miller: You know what? I just have to make a comment, an observation talking about friends on the other side of the aisle. Because I see my good friend Debbie Dingell from Michigan, who is a freshman member. But she and I go way back. She-- grew up actually in my district. Now she lives further down-- stream, down the Detroit River. But her and I this week in honor of Michigan's History month. Are going to bring in Rosie the Riveters. And you know and South East Michigan was known as the arsenal of democracy. And so many of-- during World War II and these women literally built the armaments that led the entire world to peace. Remarkable women and you hear about all these honor flight coming for World War II. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Yeah. >> Rep. Candice Miller: And she and I said, "We need to bring these Rosie's". And so the Library of Congress has been very, very helpful in putting together-- well we have some great posters. That we got out of the archives here that we're going to give the Rosie's. And you know they're in their late 80's, 90's remarkable stories. But again something that you can do across the aisle to make an impact in recognition of unbelievable ta-- patriots certainly. >> Colleen Shogan: I see another question. >> Okay I don't really have a question. But I just want to tell you both how much I admire all the women in Congress and in the Senate. I can say just listening to you today. You both have children. You both have grandchildren. And I'm the wife of Rick Allen, George XII so I can tell you now. I like my role as spouse. I don't want to be you. But I [laughter] and I say it a lot. I don't know how you deal with-- I have -- I guilt it on myself. But I heap that guilt here with children back home. And a mother, 94 year old mother and I don't even have to be here. You know I can go home when I need to. But I just admire you all so much. I think it's-- incredible and you both seem to have it-- have it down. So whatever you're doing, I want you to tell me later how you do it [laughter]. Maybe it's because I have to keep up with my husband up here, you think that's it? That's the hard part? >>Rep. Candice Miller: He's a very busy guy. He's a very busy guy. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: And you know that's nice that you're here too with him. It's nice to have your spouse or your family here. I think one of the things that is particularly difficult for a lot of members of congress is when after a really long day. You go home and you shut the door to your apartment. And you are alone. You are not with your family. They are somewhere else. And see those are the times that you know your heart kind of hurts a little bit. That you're not surrounded by hearth and home and a loving family member. So we-- it's nice that you-- I put both my spouse pen's in my hope chest at home [laughter]. >> Colleen Shogan: We have time for one more question. >> About staff, it feels that there are-- I don't know the numbers but anecdotally there a lot of women now who seem to be in senior staff positions in the Congress. And I wonder if you could talk a bit about what impact you see that having? And generally about-- women in staff positions? >> Rep. Candice Miller: You know I don't really know what the percentage is of women staff. But there certainly is a lot-- I'm sure it's a much higher percentage of staff than it is actual members. I mean my Chief of Staff is a woman. My district director is a woman. >> Rep. Janice Hahn: Mine too. >> Rep. Candice Miller: But you know, I have a mix gender wise in both offices. So-- I mean I've always had-- again, I mean I really do look at the qualifications of the individuals. Because guess what? If they're not doing a good job. You know, you're probably going to be out of your own job. And so-- but there are certainly many, many more women now I think in particular senior levels. Chiefs of-- on the committees, staff directors, all of those kinds of things. And that's a very important part of it. I mean staff is the most critical component for any member of congress. >>Rep. Janice Hahn: Yeah so my Chief of Staff is a woman. My scheduler is a woman. My communications director is a woman. My district director is a woman. Actually at one point I was very happy because back here in DC we were all women. We finally had an interloper a guy that we-- [laughter] hired. And he's there. But I do think there's more equality and opportunities at the staff level on the hill is my sense. That there really they're all equals. And some of them have some incredible institutional memory. My chief of staff worked for Barbara Boxer, worked for Jane Harman, did a lot of work in transportation. So she's a real source of information and knowledge for me. Particularly coming from you know Los Angeles and not really being in Washington DC politics. So there is a-- I think there's more equality and more opportunities at the staff level for women. >> Colleen Shogan: Well this has been a tremendous conversation. And would everybody please join me in thanking Chairman Miller and Representative Hahn. >> Rep. Candice Miller: Thank you. Thank you. >> Thank you! [ Applause ] >> This has been a presentation of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

List of members representing the district

Member Party Years Cong
ress
Electoral history District components
District created January 3, 1945
John Cornelius Butler.jpg

John C. Butler
Republican January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1949
79th
80th
Redistricted from the 42nd district, and re-elected here in 1944.
Re-elected in 1946.
Lost re-election.
Parts of Erie County
Chester C. Gorski, New York Congressman.jpg

Chester C. Gorski
Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1951
81st Elected in 1948.
Lost re-election.
John Cornelius Butler.jpg

John C. Butler
Republican January 3, 1951 –
January 3, 1953
82nd Elected in 1950.
Redistricted to the 42nd district and lost renomination.
District eliminated January 3, 1953

Election results

The following chart shows complete election results.

Year Democratic Republican American Labor
1944 Leon A. Dombrowski: 72,164 John C. Butler (incumbent): 72,402  
1946 James B. Downey: 49,798 John C. Butler (incumbent): 67,495  
1948 Chester C. Gorski: 79,795 John C. Butler (incumbent): 71,275 Robert Williams: 3,062
1950 Chester C. Gorski (incumbent): 66,541 John C. Butler: 69,260 Rufus Frasier: 2,035

References

  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
  • Election Statistics 1920-present Clerk of the House of Representatives

This page was last edited on 15 January 2019, at 20:10
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