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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

González Colón steps aside as new congressional women’s caucus leadership is named


Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, third from the right, served as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues and has filed legislation to prevent sexual harassment and avoid discrimination against women for reasons of age.


By JOHN McPHAUL

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


The outgoing Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues co-chairs, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón (R-P.R.) and Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), and Vice Chairs Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) and Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), announced earlier this week the next group of women who will assume leadership of the bipartisan 118th Congressional Caucus.


Cammack will ascend as Republican co-chair and Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) as her Democratic counterpart. Newly elected Reps. Monica de la Cruz (R-Texas) and Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Ohio) will serve as vice chairs.


“As the first woman elected to represent Puerto Rico in Congress in its history, it has been a tremendous honor to be part of the leadership of this caucus and work to promote equitable policies to help ease burdens and help women succeed in all capacities,” González Colón said on Wednesday night. “From ensuring access to health care and mental health services to diversifying the workforce and honoring trailblazers in paving the way for future generations, as a caucus and as individuals, we have pushed our agendas toward our primary goal of helping to build a stronger, more equitable future for women. I am proud to pass the baton to an extraordinary group of esteemed colleagues. I will continue to be a proud and collaborative member of this bipartisan caucus, while continuing to do impactful work.”


González Colón has filed legislation to prevent sexual harassment and avoid discrimination against women for reasons of age, among others, has promoted discussion tables at the local and national level, as well as carried out empowerment workshops, achieved a collaborative agreement with the island Department of Economic Development and Commerce and UPS that offers women training to enter international trade and other fields.


The resident commissioner has advocated and secured federal funding allocations to work with domestic violence cases such as $2 million by the end of 2022 for the construction of a Community Service Center where Hogar Ruth can offer its programs to help women victims of violence and their families.


In addition, she authored federal legislation as a measure to empower survivors of domestic violence, making it easier for them and their families to replace documents such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses that were lost or disappeared after fleeing an abuser.


Dean, the outgoing co-chair, said she is “grateful for the opportunities we had to cross the aisle on issues that affect all women.”


“Our shared efforts and work for women veterans, women’s maternal health, and women in STEM have caught my attention,” she said. “I am confident that, under the leadership of Reps. Susie Lee, Kat Cammack, Emilia Sykes and Monica de la Cruz, the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus will continue to be a space for conversation, community and shared commitment to advancing policies for all women.”


Cammack, an incoming co-chair, thanked Dean and González Colón for their leadership.


“For the past two years, the Women’s Caucus has played a pivotal role in uniting women legislators from both parties around key issues including child and maternal health, childhood education, support for women veterans and more,” she said. “Through briefings, events, and visits outside of the Capitol, we have demonstrated the power of working together to shape policies with real impact.”


Lee, the other incoming co-chair, said “I am honored to serve as co-chair of the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus, at a time when more women are working to serve in Congress than ever before, a record we have broken in each of my three terms on this body.”

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