On Monday, March 9th, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, joined women from across New York’s 14th Congressional District at The New York Botanical Garden’s Stone Mill to celebrate Women’s History Month and honor the outstanding achievements of two women leaders in our local community: Elmhurst Hospital Center Director of External Affairs and Marketing Atiya Butler, and Westchester Square Business Improvement District Executive Director Lisa Sorin. A champion of women’s rights in both the U.S. and abroad, Crowley has hosted an annual Women’s History Month event every year since 2004.
“Women’s History Month is not just a time for us to celebrate the strides that have been made with respect to women’s rights but it’s also an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to ensuring that there’s no limit to what women can achieve,” said Rep. Crowley. “Holding this event each year is important because we get to showcase powerful role models for the young women in our own communities. The successes of this year’s honorees remind our daughters that they can achieve anything they aspire to just as readily as their brothers can.”
“Women’s History Month is a recognition of the enormous sacrifices and accomplishments that have been made throughout the course of generations,” said Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul, who was originally scheduled to serve as the event’s special guest and regretted not being able to attend. “We are reminded of those trailblazers who came before us to fight injustice wherever it existed. Their spirit is instilled in us today as women continue to reach for new heights. Now we must continue their legacy by finally shattering that glass ceiling and, in doing so, afford women full equality in our societal and economic lives.”
Throughout her career at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Atiya Butler has spearheaded projects designed to help working class and immigrant communities gain access to high-quality, affordable healthcare and promote preventative medicine. Committed to improving public health, she’s also developed and executed initiatives that have helped improve patient care in underserved communities throughout Queens.
“I am thrilled to have been recognized by Congressman Crowley during Women’s History Month,” said Ms. Butler. “I am fortunate enough to be able to work in a field where I can make a real difference and help provide women and their families with access to high-quality healthcare. I know that helping the people of this community get access to that care is a goal that the Congressman Crowley has long championed, so I am deeply honored by the award.”
Prior to becoming the executive director of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District, Lisa Sorin served as president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce – the first woman to hold that position. In both roles, she has worked hard to bring economic development to the Bronx and she’s worked closely with small businesses to get them the resources they need to thrive in today’s economy.
“I am humbled and honored to have been recognized by Congressman Crowley during his Women’s History Month celebration,” said Ms. Sorin. “As a mother of two teenage girls, I always have a story of challenges and successes to tell – not only to my daughters, but to other young women who are looking for role models to help them maximize their potential and become women that make a difference in their community. I thank Congressman Crowley for putting together this event and being such a great supporter on women’s issues.”
Attendees of the event were treated to musical performances by the Renaissance Varsity Voices of Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology, as well as spoken word tributes performed by Preston High School students. The New York Botanical Garden Chief Operating Officer JV Cossaboom opened the program.
Women’s History Month is celebrated nationwide during the month of March. The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”
Congressman Crowley is the nine-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.