Two Parties, One House
Two Sarah Lawrence alumnae/i are part of the nation’s 108th Congress. In November, Rahm Emanuel ’81 was elected to his first term as representative from Illinois’ 5th Congressional District. Sue Kelly MS ’85, an alumna of the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy, was reelected to her fifth term as Representative from New York’s 19th District.
Emanuel, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Mark A. Augusti. The investment bank executive from Chicago is a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton. According to the Congressional Quarterly, “Emanuel helped direct successful efforts in the Clinton White House to pass the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement and the 1996 overhaul of welfare laws.” The Congressional Quarterly profile calls Emanuel “intense and confident,” adding that he “developed a reputation during his nearly six years in the West Wing as a sharp-elbowed political tactician.” He received the College’s Alumnae/i Citation for Achievement in 2001.
Kelly has served as educator, patient advocate, rape crisis counselor, Harvard University researcher and PTA president and was co-founder of the Bedford, N.Y., League of Women Voters. While in office, Kelly has pushed legislation through Congress that provided $11 million for habitat restoration along the Hudson River; her legislation to guarantee women reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy became law in 1998.