Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has a nice blog post about Frances Perkins in today’s Huffington Post, commemorating the 76th anniversary of Frances Perkins’s nomination to be FDR’s labor secretary, the first woman member of a presidential cabinet. As a congresswoman from New York City, Maloney knows about Frances Perkins’s work in New York, where she was appointed to commissions by both governors Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt, starting as a factory safety inspector and ending up as labor commissioner under Governor Roosevelt.
Perkins demonstrated by her deeds and words that an ailing economy should not be used as an excuse to push aside the long-term initiatives that would move our country forward. Instead, we should push forward – as she did, in the face of strong Republican opposition — to rebuild our economy in a way that recognizes that workers make our economy grow, and their contributions to our general prosperity must be fairly rewarded. The best way we can honor the legacy of this remarkable American trailblazer is to remember the lessons she taught us.
The mission of the Frances Perkins Center is exactly that, “to remember the lessons she taught us” and to act upon those lessons.