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Swearing-in ceremony for four United States Representatives

Swearing-in ceremony

Swearing-in ceremony for four United States Representatives

District Judge Rosemary Barkett administered the Oath of Office to Members of the United States House of Representatives, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz(D-Weston), Ted Deutch(D-Boca Raton), Frederica Wilson(D-District 24) and Lois Frankel(D-West Palm Beach).                                                                             Photo by Tarrence Crawford

By Derek Joy

      The Broward County Federal Courthouse was the setting for this ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for four Members of the United States House of Representatives.

     Debbie Wasserman-Schultz(D-Weston), Ted Deutch(D-Boca Raton), Frederica Wilson(D-District 24) and Lois Frankel(D-West Palm Beach) were officially sworn-in earlier in Washington, D.C., to be seated in the 113th Congress.

     “Whether the issue before them is our nation’s debt ceiling, gun control, or the social safety net that so many South Floridians depend on, I am confident that these men and women can overcome them by working together to achieve real solutions,” said Mayor Jacobs. “Your constituents expect you to serve our community, our state and our nation with great distinction. I have no doubt that each of you will do just that.”

     Following the lead of Mistress of Ceremony, Broward County Mayor Kristen Jacobs, United States.

     “It’s the beginning of a new year and the beginning of a new Congress. The only way to heal our political wounds is to work together to solve our nation’s problems and I know that we can and I’ve seen it happen first hand,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

     “You honor us with your presence here,” Wasserman-Schultz told the audience, in noting that the four Members of Congress represent constituents in Broward, Miami Dade and Palm Beach Counties. “It’s just a tremendous effort on your part to rearrange your schedules to be here.

      “It’s always absolutely at the top of my list when people ask me who are the women you most admire and look up to. I say Judge Rosemary Barkett. I will always strive to be like her, represent the same values.”

    Barkett, according to Wasserman-Schultz, is the first women to sit, chair and preside as Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeals in 1993 by Bill Clinton.

     Ironically, Wasserman-Schultz and Wilson are in their 20th year of elected office.  Wasserman-Schultz was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives in 1992, while Wilson was elected to Miami Dade Public School Board that same year.

    Wasserman-Schultz served in both Houses of the Florida State Senate and the last eight years in Congress. Wilson also served in both Houses of the Florida State Legislature and the last two in Congress.

    Jacobs recognized Wilson as the “Voice for the voiceless and a strong woman.”

    Said Wilson: “This is my 20th year in public office. I was first elected to the Miami Dade School Board and served for six years. When I go back to Washington I will finally be working on the Education Committee.

    “One of the things I want to change is the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test). But for now, Monday will be a special day for me as an African American, and for you.

     “That’s the Presidential Inauguration and when we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s, Jr., birthday. During the President’s first term, Republicans set their goal of making him a one term President. Now that he has a second term their goal is to destroy his legacy.

    “And they talk about fiscal cliff. Define fiscal cliff. Nobody can define fiscal cliff. So I want to fight for education,” Wilson said, while introducing Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie. “Education determines everything. Once you get an education, everything else falls into place.”

     The four members of Congress were of one accord, yet each sighted different issues that will receive high priority status.

    “When people ask why I serve the public, it occurs to me that the work I do in Congress is really local,” said Deutch. “I like to talk about the rights of our veterans after they serve this country. That is a local issue. Almost everyone here knows someone who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces.”

    One such person is Frankel.

    “Having a strong interest in transportation, I’ll serve on the Transportation Committee. My number one priority is getting people back to work. And, as a mother of U.S. Marine war veteran, nothing is more important to me than peace on earth,” said Frankel.

    While Deutch made mentioned that he looked forward to tackling immigration reform, the freedom of Israel, the freedom and liberty of Cuba and Haiti’s recovery from the earthquake devastation, Wasserman-Schultz highlighted those and more.

    “When you’re working hard to make the world a better place, working to make a difference, there will be bumps in the road. I’ve faced my share. But there will always be haters out there,” she said, citing economic recovery, protecting social security, deficit reduction, protecting the rights of seniors and gun control.

    Fittingly, gun violence and gun control was an issue dear to each of the four members of Congress. It was on the one month anniversary of the carnage at Shady Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people (20 children) were killed.


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