0
   

Little lady who stood tall for Labor: Evelyn Dubrow died, 95

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Sun 25 Jun, 2006 07:59 pm
She sounds like she was quite the lady.. like someone whom we should take a minute to pay respect to.

Quote:
Little lady had big impact

Saturday, June 24, 2006

By SUZANNE TRAVERS
HERALD NEWS

Evelyn Dubrow stood less than 5 feet tall, but she left a towering legacy in her decades of work on behalf of workers. Dubrow, who died Tuesday, was remembered this week by friends and the members of Congress she lobbied.

Dubrow, a native of Passaic County who in 40 years as a labor-rights lobbyist persuaded members of Congress to raise the minimum wage, assure safety and health protections for workers, and create provisions for family and medical leave, died at a hospital in Washington, D.C.

She was 95 and had been in failing health in a nursing home for the last year and a half, according to Chris Chafe, a friend and chief of staff for the labor union UNITE HERE, the successor to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Dubrow lobbied on behalf of those unions.

"Virtually every piece of legislation that impacted working people that was voted on between 1950 and 2002, Evy Dubrow had a hand in crafting it and lobbying for it," Chafe said.

"The bottom line was that Evy's great strength was her ability to relate as a friend to a garment worker on the shop floor as well as walk into any senator's office and at 4 foot 11, take them on and stand like a giant on behalf of those same garment workers."

The diminutive Dubrow earned respect, admiration, and friendships with presidents and members of Congress in the course of nine presidential administrations. In 1999, President Clinton awarded Dubrow the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, calling her a "tiny woman ... larger than life."

"Evy was that rare individual who had the passion of her convictions, yet never alienated anyone and was almost universally admired by all, truly a rare combination for a lobbyist in Washington," Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, said in a statement mourning her loss.

Dubrow's career spanned the growth and decline of the labor movement in the 20th century. Union contracts and federal legislation gained better wages and working conditions for workers, especially female textile workers in mills and sweatshops, but in recent years she acknowledged those conditions remain a challenge. Chafe said her work was instrumental in the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970, and the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1991, which requires firms with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of annual, unpaid, job-guaranteed leave to care for a newborn, adopted, or sick child or family member, or for one's own medical leave.

She was also a leader in the Vietnam-era campaign to lower the voting age to 18, and for campaigns to gain pay equity for women. She continued to push for legislation to protect workers even as union membership declined, opposing the North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect in 1994 on the grounds that U.S. textile jobs would be lost to Mexico. Chafe said she continued to lobby until 2002. [..]

Sen. Frank Lautenberg joined other members of Congress in entering statements mourning her loss into the Congressional Record.

"We must honor her memory by carrying on her fight for fair pay, better education and job training, and safer conditions for working people," said Lautenberg.

Dubrow's parents emigrated from Belarus, and her father worked as a carpenter and belonged to a trade union, Chafe said. She studied journalism at New York University and worked as a reporter for the Paterson Morning Call, one of four papers that later merged to form the Herald News. There she joined the Newspaper Guild, her first union, and in the 1930s, became an organizer in textile mills throughout northern New Jersey. She was tear-gassed at a Little Falls laundry strike in 1937, according to a report in The New York Sun. Chafe said she spoke with enthusiasm about the thrill and challenges of her early days organizing in New Jersey, dealing with police and politicians.

"It was clear that her gut and her charisma and confidence was in place when she first started her work when she was probably one of the only women organizing," he said.

In 1956, Dubrow joined the International Ladies Garment Workers Union as assistant political director and moved to Washington, where she became one of the first women lobbyists. She did not marry or have children. A memorial service for her will be held in September, Dubrow said.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,042 • Replies: 6
No top replies

 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jun, 2006 09:53 pm
Wow! What a fighter!


Thank you Nimh......good to see this...now I am going to do so some research on her.
0 Replies
 
kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jun, 2006 11:59 pm
I think in this era, where downsizers are treated as heroes and where we celebrate companies who outsource work abroad that once upon a time there were people who stood up for the American working person.

We can learn much from those giants.
0 Replies
 
kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jun, 2006 11:59 pm
I think in this era, where downsizers are treated as heroes and where we celebrate companies which outsource work abroad that once upon a time there were people who stood up for the American working person.

We can learn much from those giants.
0 Replies
 
kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jun, 2006 11:59 pm
I think in this era, where downsizers are treated as heroes and where we celebrate companies which outsource work abroad that once upon a time there were people who stood up for the American working person.

We can learn much from those giants.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2006 08:04 am
More info in the NYT.. I dont like the hint of patronising in some of the obituary there, but these excerpts are definitely interesting:

Quote:
Evelyn Dubrow, Labor Lobbyist, Dies at 95

Evelyn Dubrow, organized labor's most prominent lobbyist at the time of its greatest power in her four decades with the nation's largest apparel union, died on Tuesday in Washington. Family members said she was 95. [..]

David Dubinsky, the legendary president of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, named Ms. Dubrow the union's chief Washington lobbyist in 1956 [..]. Tireless and an eloquent speaker, she was a powerful voice for labor and for social legislation, including Medicare, school spending and civil rights.

At a signing ceremony in 1965 for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson singled out Ms. Dubrow, saying she deserved credit for pushing through the legislation. [..]

She was so well liked and such a fixture on Capitol Hill that House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. assigned her a chair among the Congressional doorkeepers' chairs outside the House of Representatives so she would not have to stand all day while waiting to buttonhole arriving or departing House members. She was the only lobbyist to have such a seat.

"Lobbyists tend to work for, or even become, fat cats," Ms. Dubrow said in a 1997 interview with Washingtonian Magazine. "Well, I'm not. And I don't. I work for more than 350,000 union members and 250,000 retirees. They're far from fat cats. They're hard-working citizens who can't trot up to Capitol Hill and meet their representatives directly."


And these excerpts from the WaPo:

Quote:
Lobbyist Evelyn Dubrow, 95; Worked for ILGWU, Civil Rights
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Miss Dubrow worked 15-hour days and outlasted almost everyone. [..] "She carries no flip phone, beeper or Powerbook," the Baltimore Sun said in 1995. "[Miss] Dubrow keeps her daily schedule on a card in her appointment calendar in her purse. And her yearly expenses are less than what some spend in telephone bills alone." [..]

Unapologetically liberal, she had friends among both Republicans and Democrats, telling Washingtonian magazine in 1997: "In Washington you should never write off anybody. You'll be surprised where tomorrow's allies come from." [..]

She came from Paterson, N.J., the daughter of immigrants from Belarus who found work in factories of New York and New Jersey. She got her start in labor activism handing out fliers about the Spanish Civil War in New York's Union Square. She graduated from New York University's School of Journalism and joined her first union, the Newspaper Guild, while working at the Paterson Morning Call newspaper. [..]

Miss Dubrow was in her mid-forties when she became one of a mere handful of female lobbyists in Washington. When she started, the federal minimum wage was $1 an hour, equal pay was rarely mentioned and the law allowed discrimination in housing, hiring and health care. She fought long and hard for improvements in all those areas, and later, against the North American Free Trade Agreement, which eroded the jobs of American union members who made clothes.

"When I started this job, we were worried about sweatshops," she told The Washington Post in 1997. "Today we're still worried about sweatshops." [..]

In 1971, Ladies' Home Journal named her one of the 75 most important women in America, and in 1982, the old Washington Business Review called her one of the city's top 10 lobbyists.

Never married, with no immediate family survivors, she reveled in her many nieces and nephews. She also enjoyed poker, gin rummy and reading the classics.

In the 1970s, she endured four years of Metrorail construction in front of her D Street SE home. Her only complaint about it, she told The Post in 1977: "Their construction in front of my house caused my shoes to get muddy. But for two weeks, every day, one of the workers would go have them polished and bring them back to me."


Finally, this article, from the NJ Herals News again, reproduces Sen. Lautenberg's tribute to her: A tiny woman who was larger than life:

Quote:
[..] workers all across the country thought of her as family. They loved her and trusted her to look out for them.

"Everyone who cares about working people will miss Evy. We should also give thanks for her long life and the many things she accomplished. And we must honor her memory by carrying on her fight for fair pay, better education and job training, and safer conditions for working people."
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2006 06:45 pm
We need an army of her.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

T'Pring is Dead - Discussion by Brandon9000
Another Calif. shooting spree: 4 dead - Discussion by Lustig Andrei
Friends don't let friends fat-talk - Discussion by hawkeye10
Before you criticize the media - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Fatal Baloon Accident - Discussion by 33export
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
Robin Williams is dead - Discussion by Butrflynet
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Little lady who stood tall for Labor: Evelyn Dubrow died, 95
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/21/2021 at 12:18:00