Rochester, Congressional leaders offer condolences for Slaughter's death

Community, state, and national leaders are offering their condolences after the passing of Rep. Louise Slaughter on Friday. (WHAM photo)

(WHAM) - Community, state, and national leaders are offering their condolences after the passing of Rep. Louise Slaughter on Friday.

Slaughter died at George Washington University Hospital after she fell last week at her home in Washington, D.C. The 88-year-old Democrat was being treated for a concussion.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo issued a statement sharing her sympathies and ordered flags to fly at half staff starting Friday.

“On behalf of residents and families across Monroe County, I extend my deepest condolences on the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Above all else, Louise was always a great reflection of the community and people she represented – a strong, principled and resilient public servant who dedicated much of her life to helping her neighbors. She was also a trailblazing woman leader both in Washington and here at home, serving as an inspiration for many women who have since followed in her footsteps to serve in elected office on both sides of the aisle. Out of respect for Louise’s incredible life and legacy, I am ordering flags to fly at half-staff at all Monroe County facilities beginning today. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Slaughter family and the Congresswoman’s many friends and colleagues.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement:

"Louise Slaughter was a champion for New York who had a larger than life presence in Rochester area politics. For more than 30 years, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives with unmatched charm, sharp wit and an insatiable passion to improve the lives of everyone in her community.
"As Dean of our Congressional Delegation, she made all New Yorkers proud. With her training as a scientist, Louise fought for fairness and led the way on the major issues of our time, from environmental preservation to women's rights to attracting 21st century jobs in cutting edge industries like photonics.
"She was trailblazer, a partner and friend ever since we worked together for my father more than four decades ago. She will be missed greatly by all who knew her, but she will not be forgotten anytime soon by all those she served."

“Louise was a friend and a colleague for years and I am shocked by her passing," said Rochester Chamber of Commerce Bob Duffy in a statement. "Words cannot express how saddened I am by her death. She was such a tireless advocate and great public servant for our community and region throughout her tenure in Congress. Whether people agreed or disagreed with her positions, I can assure you that they were established with the utmost integrity because Louise always took stands that she firmly believed in. To me, that is the essence of great public service. I express my deepest condolences to her family.”

"At this difficult time, I want to first and foremost express my deepest condolences to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's family," Monroe County GOP Chairman Bill Relich said in a statement." She has long served her constituents with strength and passion and as a senior member in Congress is responsible for many initiatives and has secured both funding and support for many critical issues."

New York State Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle issued a statement from his office:

“For nearly 50 years, Louise Slaughter was a tireless advocate for our community and one of our nation’s most fearless champions for fairness, equality, and justice. Her work and legacy will forever be an inspiration to me and I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to call her my friend and partner in public service.
“As a community and a nation, we mourn her passing but take comfort in the knowledge that Louise’s legacy and contributions will be felt for many, many years to come.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the entire Slaughter family during this difficult time. Please know that you are surrounded by the prayers and gratitude of an indebted community.”

Monroe County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Jamie Romeo issued a statement on behalf of the office:

"It is difficult to put in words the the loss our community has suffered today. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was a living icon for women from all walks of life who wanted to get off the sidelines and make positive change in their community. I know many, including myself, would not be where they are today without the support and guidance from Louise, and also thanks to the trial she blazed in her first ventures into politics in Monroe County.
"Our hearts are heavy with sorrow and we are full with the love we have for Louise. Today we pause to thank you Louise, for everything you have done. Our deepest condolences to her family and everyone who's lives she has touched."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) issued a statement as well:

“I am deeply saddened that my dear friend and colleague Louise Slaughter has passed away. As a long-serving leader of the House Rules Committee, she tirelessly fought for Democratic principles and gave a voice to those who needed it. Louise devoted her life to serving the Rochester community, she never wavered in her fierce defense of our shared values as Americans, and she was one of the kindest and most compassionate colleagues I’ve ever had. She was a brilliant microbiologist who worked tirelessly to make our food supply safer, she was a moral leader who passed the Stock Act to prevent corruption in Congress, and she was a proud New Yorker who fought to bring high-speed rail to our state. Louise will be remembered as one of the great, pioneering women in our country’s history, and it was an honor to serve alongside her in Congress. I offer my heartfelt prayers and condolences to her entire family.”

Dr. Jim Maxwell, one of the candidates for the 25th District election scheduled for this fall, issued a statement:

“I’m deeply saddened to hear of Louise Slaughter’s passing; my prayers are with her family, friends, and devoted staff during this time. Louise was respected by so many of us here in Monroe County – she was a champion for working families, a fierce advocate for her district, and a role model for a new generation of leaders. Her service made us a better nation. Today we set aside politics to celebrate the life of Congresswoman Slaughter.

CEO of Planned Parenthood Center of Western New York Michelle Casey sent her condolences as well.

“Congresswoman Slaughter was a true example of grit in action. She was a tireless advocate for women, girls and families in our community and nationwide. She was a champion for multiple legislative efforts and advocated for our work and Planned Parenthood at every turn. Our deepest condolences to family, friends and staff of Louise Slaughter; she will be missed.”

Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott sent her condolences on behalf of the Rochester City Council:

"It is with great sorrow that we send our condolences to the family of Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter. Today marks the end of an era, Congresswoman Slaughter served our community with distinction for over three decades fighting tirelessly in Congress for our region. Her incredible impact on our country will be felt for generations to come both locally and throughout the nation. People will benefit from her work in all facets of their lives including: education, health care, infrastructure and technology. Louise was a champion for all people, and she will be truly missed."

Assemblyman Peter Lawrence also sent his condolences:

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was a champion of the Rochester area,” said Lawrence. “Her service and dedication to our area is unmatched. She proudly served the Rochester area for over 36 years, she will be truly missed. I send my sincerest condolences to her family, may they find peace during this difficult time.

University of Rochester President Richard Feldman made a statement on behalf of the University:

On behalf of the University of Rochester, I want to express my profound sadness at the news of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s passing. I also want to extend my deepest condolences to her family and her staff. Louise was not only a close friend to this institution and to many who worked here, but she was also one of our greatest champions. She was giant among her peers in the U.S. House of Representatives, a trailblazer, and a tireless advocate for science, healthcare, research, education, arts and the humanities, economic development, and women’s rights. Even while being elevated as one of the most powerful members of Congress, Louise always remembered where she came from and her first priority was to her community and her constituents. Her contributions to the University and this region are enduring and her death is a significant loss to our state and the nation. Her achievements have left an indelible mark that will be felt for generations to come. The University was honored to have her open our new downtown business incubator only a couple of weeks ago, and we were extraordinarily proud to present her with the University’s highest honor – the Eastman Medal – several years ago in recognition of her outstanding dedication as a public servant and for her extraordinary commitment to the citizens of New York and the nation. The University’s flags will fly at half-staff in tribute to Louise Slaughter and her lifetime of extraordinary service, achievement, and leadership.

Monroe County legislators shared their thoughts upon hearing about the death of Slaughter Friday afternoon.

Minority Leader Cindy Kaleh (District – 28): “The loss of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter will be felt by not only family, friends and hometown, but nationally. Her commitment to public service has been fueled by an unparalleled determination to serve her district and the nation with intelligence, moral consciousness and integrity. The Congresswoman’s tenaciousness to get ‘it’ done is legend. As we mourn today, remember the future will hold the examples of her friendship, guidance and faith in those around her. Her simple belief that what’s right is worth fighting for will be the legacy of her tireless work and successful tenure in public service.”

Assistant Minority Leader John Lightfoot (District – 25): “I was saddened to hear the news of Louise Slaughter's passing. I will always remember her for her southern belle accent, her uniqueness for a call to action, and her behind closed door aggressiveness for competitive races.”

Assistant Minority Leader Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (District – 29): “It was my pleasure working alongside Louise. She brought a country feel to urban politics. We always talked about Kentucky because that’s where she and my father were from.”

Howard Maffucci (District – 10): "Louise Slaughter has been an inspiration to me personally, professionally, and politically. She is one of the classiest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Her record of public service is exemplary. I am deeply saddened to hear this news. Sincerest condolences to her family."

Justin Wilcox (District – 14): “Our community has lost its representative and true friend. Congresswoman Slaughter was the epitome of a fierce advocate, supporting efforts and affecting change in ways we can't even begin to quantify. Whether you ran into her in Wegmans or at a campaign rally, her wit and brilliance would shine through and you would feel a sense of security; no matter the turbulence in DC, Louise had our back. Her family has my deepest sympathies, they, more than we know the impact her loss will have on this community.”

James Sheppard (District – 23): “Louise’s passing is a tremendous loss for Rochester and Monroe County. It was always a pleasure to work with her as her intelligence, energy, and passion for our community were second to none. She will be missed.”

LaShay Harris (District – 27): “I am experiencing sorrow upon learning of the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. She will be remembered as Rochester’s champion. I will also look up to her as one of Rochester’s female leaders who have forged a path for Rochester’s future and for being an inspiration for little girls. Thank you Louise and RIP.”

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