|Norton Statement on Passing of Barbara Lett Simmons|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released the following statement on the passing of Barbara Lett Simmons.
“Barbara Lett Simmons was a friend of mine and of many others here, but she was a friend of the city to which she gave so much passionate devotion. She had an instinct to serve and a focused determination to serve those who needed service most.
Born and raised in Michigan, Barbara was never at peace with her adopted home town’s disenfranchised status. I will never forget her gutsy protest as one of the three D.C. presidential electors in 2000, when she abstained from casting the expected vote for Albert Gore, Jr. Barbara’s action was not related to the Bush v. Gore controversy after Vice President Gore won the plurality vote but did not become president. Barbara used the city’s one national right, its electoral vote, to stand up for her city and to amplify its protest against the denial of Congressional voting rights and statehood.
As a committed professional, Barbara Lett Simmons took her experience as a teacher here to her service on the D.C. Board of Education, fighting there particularly for the poor and disabled kids, and then to the federal government, where she trained others to become teachers of adults. Barbara was fearless in fighting for what she believed was just. Her full and productive life will be long remembered in the District of Columbia. Her family has my deepest sympathy.”
Published: December 27, 2012