Where’s This Woman? Fighting for the Upper East Side
Some politicians get themselves noticed for the things they say. Others work quietly, hoping to gain attention for the things they do. The rare breed of national legislator is able to land in the spotlight both for their pithy turns of phrase and for their hard-won accomplishments. Rep. Carolyn Maloney is that kind of lawmaker.
The Upper East Side congresswoman has been enjoying national attention lately for her mantra “Where are the women?” a non-rhetorical question posed first to fellow Rep. Darrell Issa when a panel he chaired on religious freedom and birth control was devoid of female speakers and subsequently to every media outlet that would listen as a general indictment of Republican-led policy that seeks to legislate women’s rights.
It’s a catchy and of-the-moment question, but it’s one that Maloney has been asking for decades, as a chief sponsor and continual champion of the Equal Rights Amendment, as the author of the Debbie Smith Act, which allocates $151 million in federal funding a year to process DNA evidence in sexual assault cases and as a reliably unyielding proponent of women’s rights on the national stage.
Maloney has proven she can walk the walk (often in heels) and talk the talk (often with wry jabs at right-wingers and the few political opponents who have challenged her). In her almost 20 years as a congresswoman, she has also been able to strike an impressive balance between advocating for national issues and supporting local ones.