(Extensions of Remarks - June 25, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E837]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                          HON. DANNY K. DAVIS

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 25, 2019

  Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Madam Speaker, I rise to honor and 
recognize the achievements of Commander Zeita Merchant, a proud native 
of Chicago, Illinois; Commander Merchant has served this great nation 
as an officer of the United States Coast Guard for over 22 years;
  Commander Merchant served as the Commanding Officer of U.S. Coast 
Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago, where she was responsible for 
executing the Coast Guard's Port Safety and Security, Marine 
Environmental Protection, and Commercial Vessel Safety missions under 
the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security on the Southern 
Lake Michigan shorelines of Illinois and Indiana, as well as the 
Chicago Area Waterway System and the Illinois River System; and;
  Commander Merchant made history, in position, as the unit's first 
female Commanding Officer of her unit and the first African American 
female to command a Marine Safety Unit in Coast Guard history;
  Commander Merchant's visionary leadership and operational expertise 
ensured the safety and security of the Nation's third largest 
metropolitan area through maximizing federal, state and local 
partnerships with her galvanizing initiatives and influence, and 
overseeing prevention and marine environmental responses, which 
sustained commerce in the busiest port complex in the Great Lakes 
  In addition, Commander Merchant showed notable commitment to making 
an impact in the Austin Community in which she was raised as a board 
member for BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) 
Chicago, while also serving as a member of the Executive Committee for 
the Chicago Federal Executive Board, and Community Partner with Chicago 
State University.
  Finally, Commander Merchant served as an instrumental champion for 
the Midwest Boys and Girls Club, Chicago and Northern Illinois American 
Red Cross, the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, 
the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program, and many other non-
profit organizations where the lives of more than 4000 youth, veterans, 
and community volunteers were positively impacted.
  Commander Merchant and her life experiences are a testament to what 
young African American women from Chicago can achieve. The Chicagoland 
community has been truly blessed to have such a brilliant mind and 
committed public servant and I wish her the best in her future