Portrait of a Political Trailblazer

Jon Friedman’s portrait of Representative Lowey.

To mark Nita Lowey’s outstanding 32 years service in Congress, a 30-minute video of highlights was recently screened – and will remain available on YouTube – showcasing the politician’s many achievements. 

Not only does the film offer glimpses of Lowey’s speeches and campaigns across the decades, but also includes a night-of-a-thousand-stars display of fellow politicians and activists, many of them expressing gratitude for her efforts. Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie thanked her “for coming to Sesame Street’s aid when we needed her help. She really is a hero.”  

For her support of Tibet, human and civil rights, “and the good causes”, film actor Richard Gere acknowledges that “No one is better than Nita Lowey.” Irish singer Bono recalls the pandemic of HIV/Aids nearly twenty years ago, and the funding Lowey helped secure. “Millions of people owe their lives because of how you conducted your life,” he declares. 

And young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai expresses gratitude too, “For conversations about how to ensure all girls can go to school, and all the amazing work you have done.” 

Lowey, the first woman to Chair the powerful Appropriations Committee, has advocated for many important causes, starting with those important to her constituents, like cleaning up Long Island Sound. But she also worked on transportation, job training, school safety, disaster relief, children’s after school programs, Israel, gun safety, and women’s needs and health.  

The film offers image after image of her mingling with powerful leaders, including Presidents ClintonBush and Obamathe Bidens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and many others. 

It concludes with Lowey’s portrait which will hang in the Appropriations Committee Hearing Room, surrounded by the many portraits of her all-male predecessors. Exceptional to the last. 

Virtual Celebration of Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey – YouTube 

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About the Author: Jon Jackson