Like many Rochestarians, I first heard about the passing of Louise Slaughter while listening to Joshua Johnson’s 1A on NPR. The WXXI anchor interrupted the program with what he said was sad news. There was a slight pause and in that pause my heart sank and I knew.
An hour our so later, on Connections, Evan Dawson hosted a special two hour program on her life and legacy. Caller after caller said the same things. Louise was a force of nature, a fighter, a liberal lion, a trailblazer, gracious, giving of her time and energy and friend of colleagues on both sides of the aisle and — over the years — tens of thousands of constituents.
I can’t add much more to her deserved praise. In the two times I met her she was gracious and giving of her time. At the 2016, MLK Conference on Finding Solutions Louise gave the keynote speech. She easily could have left the conference then, but instead stayed for the entire sessions, fully engaged with the issues and attendees.
As seen in Iakaonne´tha ne oneka, I talked with Louise when she spoke at a Liberty Pole Way rally against the Keystone Pipeline.
I also met Louise on Election Day, 2016 in Mt. Hope Cemetery as thousands of people made a pilgrimage to the grave of Susan B. Anthony. On that day, Louise won her 16th and final term.
In a blast from the past, I recently learned that in 1972 Louise was the Co-Chair of the local Citizens for McGovern committee. And she was a force of nature ever since.