Barbara Boxer will appear on an upcoming episode of Town Hall Los Angeles.
Last December, in a rare bipartisan moment in Washington, a Republican praised a Democrat. Bob Corker, the Republican Senator from Tennessee, paid tribute to retiring California Senator Barbara Boxer. He presented a proclamation thanking her for her patriotism, commitment to the Senate, the nation and for her many years of service. Corker also said that knowing Boxer was “a blessing.”
Barbara Boxer was elected senator in 1992, along with Diane Feinstein. Together they made history, becoming the first women senators from California, pitching themselves as “Thelma and Louise” – a popular movie at the time. Prior to that, Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, had served 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.
During her 34 years in Congress, Boxer was a fierce defender of women’s rights. She wrote the Freedom of Choice Act in 2004, and has been a champion for women’s reproductive rights and better access to health care. Boxer also fought climate-change deniers, creating the Senate’s Climate Action Task Force; the goal of the group is to take aggressive action on climate change.
At her official retirement event in January, Senator Boxer fought back tears as she delivered her farewell speech: "I want everyone to know, whether friend or foe, whether critic or admirer, I do appreciate the fact that you let me know how you felt about my work one way or another." She said that of more than a thousand accomplishments she could pick from, she wanted to highlight these ten:
- The first after school programs that got funded by federal dollars, which cover more than 1.6 million kids everyday.
- A million acres of California wilderness preserved.
- Establishing the first-ever casualty combat care center in California for wounded warriors.
- Ensuring that transportation programs remain in place for years to come, protecting millions of jobs.
- Upholding our landmark environmental laws. "And I hope that continues."
- Setting clean drinking water standards to protect pregnant women, children and other vulnerable people.
- Standardizing the "Dolphin Safe" tuna can label.
- Protecting victims of rape in the military from being asked questions that were already resolved in civilian court.
- Establishing the first-ever subcommittee to oversee global women's issues.
- Recommending a diverse group of judicial nominees who are carrying out laws in California's and federal courts.
At 76, Boxer says she may no longer be in the Senate but don’t expect that she will be retiring, instead she made this promise: “When I left the Senate I said you would see Barbara Boxer unleashed and uncensored. And that's just what you're going to get.”
Known for writing rhyming limericks, Boxer composed one about her departure from government service. It’s included in a video produced by her grandson, gaining lots of viewers on YouTube:
The Senate is the place where I’ve always made my caseFor families, for the planet, and the human raceMore than 20 years in a job I loveThanks to California and the lord aboveSo although I won’t be working for my Senate spaceAnd I won’t be running in that next tough raceLAs long as there are issues and challenges and strifeI will never retire, cause that’s the meaning of my life.
This story was originally published on July 5, 2017.