Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, was joined by Special Guest Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens) to commemorate Women’s History Month with the Queens-Bronx community at the New York Botanical Garden. Meng delivered the keynote address during the annual event which brings local residents together to discuss legislative issues important to women, recognize their vital contributions to society and to honor the courage and sacrifice of bold women trailblazers who broke down many barriers facing women.

“Each year we gather to celebrate the contributions of women pioneers and reflect on the progress we’ve made, but also recognize the work that remains in the fight for equality and opportunity,” said Rep. Crowley. “Congresswoman Meng is a pioneer in her own right. As the first Asian-American Member of Congress from New York, and the first female Member of Congress from Queens since former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, Congresswoman Meng is an effective leader, a steadfast advocate for women’s rights, and we’re proud to have had her deliver this year’s keynote address.”

“I thank Congressman Crowley for being a leader on women’s issues and for once again hosting this outstanding celebration,” said Rep. Meng. “I am proud to join him in honoring the contributions of today’s honorees as we celebrate Women’s History Month throughout the month of March.”

This year, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of women serving in Congress. On April 2, 1917, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman Member of Congress and a suffragette, being sworn into office. She was sworn into office three years before women nationwide were guaranteed the right to vote.

Crowley also recognized several community leaders for their extraordinary contributions. This year’s honorees included: Teresita R. Rodriguez, Apicha Community Health Center CEO; Gertrudes Pajaron, Apicha Community Health Center Chief Development Officer; and Camille Mackler, New York Immigration Coalition Director of Legal Initiatives.

“In keeping with New York City’s long and storied tradition of strong women leaders, this year’s honorees are literally saving lives, keeping immigrant New York families together, and on the frontlines of protecting anyone who is underserved and vulnerable,” Crowley continued. “They have become leaders within our community and important role models for all our daughters.”

Attendees were treated to spoken word and musical tributes performed by students from Preston High School in Throggs Neck. New York Botanical Garden Director JV Cossaboom opened the program.

Women’s History Month is celebrated nationwide during the month of March. A champion of women’s rights in both the U.S. and abroad, Crowley has hosted an annual celebration event every year since 2004.

Congressman Crowley is the ten-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He serves as Chairman of the Democratic Caucus and is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives.