(Senate - March 08, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 40 (Wednesday, March 8, 2017)]
[Pages S1688-S1689]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


 Mr.. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I wish to pay tribute to a 
distinguished woman from the State of Maryland. Carmen Delgado Votaw, 
who passed away on February 18, 2017, was a civil rights pioneer, a 
public servant, a storyteller, and a beloved community leader.
  Ms. Votaw was born on September 29, 1935, in Humacao, PR. She studied 
at the University of Puerto Rico and graduated from American University 
in Washington, DC, with a bachelor of arts in international studies. 
She was subsequently awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities by 
Hood College in Frederick, MD.
  Ms. Votaw was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as cochair 
of the National Advisory Committee on Women. She served as president of 
the Interamerican Commission of Women of the Organization of American 
States in 1979-80. The first president of that body, she remains just 
one of two women from the United States to have served as the 
commission's president.
  During her career, Ms. Votaw travelled to more than 80 countries and 
met with more than 50 heads of state. She was a member of the U.S. 
delegation to the International Women's Year conference, attending 
conferences in Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing.
  Ms. Votaw was chief of staff for Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner 
Jaime B. Fuster from 1985-91. As the first Hispanic female chief of 
staff for a Member of Congress, she worked to address the challenges 
facing 3.5 million Puerto Ricans living on the island and to build a 
strong network for women in the Federal Government. After leaving the 
U.S. House of Representatives, she was involved with the Girl Scouts of 
the USA, United Way of America, and the Alliance for Children and 
  Ms. Votaw was an author of a number of publications on women, 
including ``Puerto Rican Women: Mujeres Puertorriquenas,'' ``Notable 
American Women,'' ``Libro de Oro,'' and ``To Ourselves Be True.'' These 
stories highlight the wonderful accomplishments of women, particularly 
Hispanic women, who led remarkable lives and serve as role models for 
younger women.
  As a stalwart defender of civil rights for diverse populations, 
especially Hispanics, Ms. Votaw received the Hispanic Heritage Award 
for Education, the Mexican American Women's Primeras Award, and 
numerous awards from NASA, FEW, and national and local civic 
  Ms. Votaw served on the boards of directors of numerous women's 
organizations, including the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, 
which she served as national president and president of the DC chapter, 
the Overseas Education Fund of the League of Women's Voters, the Girl 
Scouts of the USA, the International Girl Guides, the National Women's 
Political Caucus and its Appointments Coalition, the Mid-Atlantic 
Equity Center, and the National Coalition for Women and Girls in 
Education. She was also active with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus 
Institute, the Gala Hispanic Theatre, and the Maryland Women's Heritage 
Center, and she was a longtime member of the Council on Foreign 
  In 1992, Ms. Votaw was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of 
Fame for her numerous contributions to the community. In addition, she 
was recognized by the National Women's History Project for 
Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in 2014.
  Ms. Votaw died on February 18, 2017. She is survived by her husband 
of more

[[Page S1689]]

than 50 years, Gregory B. Votaw; three children, Stephen G. Votaw of 
Arlington, VA, Michael A. and Liz Votaw of Potomac, MD, and Lisa Votaw 
and Brian Olson of Steamboat Springs, CO; and six grandchildren--Daniel 
Votaw, Alexandra Votaw, Anna Votaw, Michael Todd Votaw, Taylor Delgado 
Olson, and Abby Olson.
  Ms. Votaw's extraordinary and transformational contributions to our 
State, Nation, and world will have an impact on the lives of girls, 
women, and families for generations to come. Her vision of inclusivity 
and creating opportunities for women broke barriers and shattered 
institutional societal stigmas that prevented women from achieving 
their dreams. Ms. Votaw lived a life of extraordinary accomplishment, 
and we owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude for her outstanding work 
in increasing equality and opportunity throughout the world. I ask my 
colleagues to join me in remembering Carmen Delgado Votaw and in 
expressing our deepest condolences to her family and countless