Carrie Meek, former pioneering black congresswoman, dies at 95

Family spokesman Adam Sharon said in a statement describing the life and legacy of the late Democrat as “going ahead” of the Florida Democrats.

Her children Lucia Davis-Raiford, Sheila Davis Kinui, and retired Representative Kendrick B. Meek of Florida provided a statement of her legacy to CNN.

It reads: “Carrie Meek is the matriarch of our family who has fulfilled this role for the entire South Florida community. She is a bridge-builder and healer, someone who unites with a heritage defined by selfless public service. Forever an educator, Congresswoman taught us all the lessons of justice and morality. Her approach is rooted in heart. kindness and humility Carrie Meek has made our society stronger and more equal – a result that will be a forever tribute to our beloved mother. our faith, always inspired by the outpouring of love and community support. We humbly ask for your prayers at this time.”

Meek was born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1926, according to her congressional biography. After serving as Miami-Dade Community College’s first Black professor, vice-chancellor, and assistant vice president, Meek defeated 12 other candidates when he ran for the Florida State House of Representatives in 1978. .

Just five years later, she became the first black woman elected to the state senate.

Meek continued to advance her career in state government into a successful campaign in the United States House of Representatives in 1992. Along with former Representatives Corrine Brown and Alcee Hastings, Meek entered Congress as a member of Congress. way as one of the first Black members elected since the Reconstruction Era.

Over the next decade, she used her legislative interests to advance a range of Democratic priorities from immigration reform to economic development. ” We see showboats and we see tugs,” said late civil rights congressman John Lewis speak in 1999 of different legislative styles in Congress. ”She’s a tugboat. I never wanted to take matters into my own hands against her. ”

Meek retired in 2002 and was succeeded by her son, Kendrick, who successfully ran for her House seat and held it for four terms.

Following her congressional career, Meek shifted focus to the Carrie Meek Foundation, which works to provide jobs and opportunities to the Miami-Dade community, Sharon said in a statement. She ran the foundation’s operations until 2015 when her “failing health” forced her to resign.

News of her death drew an immediate wave of support on Sunday night.

Florida Representative Frederica Wilson, successor to Representative Kendrick Meek, tweeted about Carrie Meek’s character and example.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my predecessor, Representative Carrie Meek. She was a true advocate for Black communities in Florida and around the world. She guided me through my life. my political career and a role model for politicians … in terms of how Wilson writes.

She continued: “Carrie Meek is a gentle, sweet spirit that has permeated our community over the years. Her presence in a room speaks to the voices of generations yet to be heard. born. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

“My deepest condolences to the Meek family. I have the honor to serve in Congress with Carrie Meek,” said Democratic Representative Gregory Meeks of New York. tweeted. “She’s an educator at her core, and I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned from her.”

Democratic Representative Darren Soto of Florida also praised Meek as a pioneer, “with a big heart and a lot of courage.”

“She’s an advocate for civil rights, health care, education, jobs and housing. She defended our state against Hurricane Andrew and closed the base. We will trying to follow in her great legacy!” he tweeted.

GOP Representative Mario Diaz-Balart in Florida called Meek “an invaluable friend and icon.”

“Carrie is a living legend and an institution. Her passion and beliefs have made everyone around her love, admire and respect her,” he said. tweeted. “There’s no doubt that Congressman Meek’s legacy will leave a lasting mark on generations to come.”

Meek is survived by 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.


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