I was saddened to read in these pages that Congresswoman Nita Lowey is retiring. With her retirement will come an end to a woman who not only has represented her constituents, I among them, with honor and integrity, but more importantly educational institutions such as Sesame Street and Public Broadcasting Stations. I know this from firsthand experience with Congresswoman Lowey.
During the early 1990’s I worked at Thirteen/WNET, the tri-state’s most prominent PBS station. It was a challenging time as there were those who wanted to defund PBS, and a host of other cultural supporting institutions. I was tasked with thwarting that effort.
It was very early on in Congresswoman Lowey’s tenure as a Representative, but she was not only someone I knew as my Representative, I knew she would help champion our cause.
I set up a meeting with her, my boss and me to meet just outside of the floor of the House of Representatives as she was hard at work doing the people’s work. My boss and I were impressed with her business-like and straightforward approach in the manner at hand. It took a bit of convincing for Congresswoman Lowey to accept being an advocate for PBS and Big Bird, but she was fully committed and was relentless. Her commitment to PBS, Sesame Street, the National Endowment for Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts has remained steadfast since then.
I know she’s looking forward to spending time with her daughters and grandchildren. But I want her to know that she’s always welcome on Sesame Street where because of her efforts there will continue to be “Sunny Days” as the Sesame Street theme song goes.