We are just learning that Geraldine Ferraro, the one-time New York congresswoman who became the first woman in U.S. history to be nominated by a major party for the vice-presidency, has died after a long battle with cancer. To millions of Americans, not just women, her life will serve as a symbol of hope that the dream of full equality between the sexes in our nation will be fully realized. The day a woman first takes the oath of office as vice-president or president it will be on the shoulders of Gerry Ferraro.
In 1984, I waited for hours at Waterfront Park to be in the front row to hear Congresswoman Ferraro speak on behalf of Fritz Mondale as they campaigned against Ronald Reagan. Later, in 1986, when I was a junior at Sunset High School and active with the young democrats, Congresswoman Ferraro came to Beaverton to speak to the state democratic party convention and I was invited to ride in the car with her to the airport. She was kind and gracious. A lot of politicians would have just ignored a kid like me.
Over these many years there have been moments when I've been frustrated with her statements and positions but nothing can take away from the historic nature of her 1984 run. Because of Gerry Ferraro and the women who have followed in her path my daughters can look at the world and say "I can do or be anything." My prayers are with her family and friends.