DeLauro Nominated,“Ready for a Fight” For 16th Term

by SOPHIE SONNENFELD | May 11, 2020 8:36 pm

New Haven U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro Monday evening accepted accepted her party’s unanimous endorsement for a 16th two-year term with a story about why her late mother once wore red for a year following a pandemic.

For the first time ever, the district’s nominating convention was held via teleconference rather than in person, because of restrictions on public gatherings during the Covid-19 crisis

Besides two accidental slips in pressing the wrong phone key for nominations, not one of the convention’s 300 delegates presented nominations for any candidate Monday except DeLauro, who first won the office in 1990. She was endorsed for reelection unanimously.

DeLauro is currently the 18th most senior member of the US House of Representatives.

Milford City Clerk & Registrar of Vital Statistics Karen Fortunati nominated DeLauro, calling her “one of my personal heroes.”

Fortunati recalled how she and her daughter Jenna first met DeLauro at the New Haven Reads Spelling Bee in 2012. “I will never forget how the energy changed in the theater when Rosa walked in. How there was this palpable buzz of excitement as people flocked to her.” Fortunati said she also will never forget the expression on her daughter’s face when she met DeLauro. “My 15-year-old daughter was in complete awe, thrilled to come face to face and shake Rosa’s hand.”

She also recalled knocking on voters’ doors with DeLauro during a campaign. “Equally as moving was the connection that Rosa made at each door. Even in that short exchange, she was genuine and authentic and I knew that she honestly cared about how people were doing.”

On the call, Hamden Delegate Elizabeth Hayes seconded the nomination for DeLauro. Hayes lauded DeLauro’s efforts to pass bills promoting opay equity for women, an incased minimum wage, and hikes in food-stamp benefits. Hayes also praised DeLauro’s hand in making sure FEMA gave $2.4 million in assistance and relief from the tornado that hit Connecticut in May 2018.

“I want her to continue being our champion”, Hayes said.

Sophie Sonnenfeld Photo
SOPHIE SONNENFELD PHOTODemocratic Nominating Convention for Connecticut’s 3rd District.
In her acceptance speech, DeLauro said this pandemic is “particularly personal” to her because, when her mother Luisa was 2 years old, her mother’s father died of the 1918 Spanish Influenza. Then DeLauro’s mother, too, contracted the flu. DeLauro’s grandmother prayed to the Infant of Prague that if her daughter survived, she would dress her in red for an entire year.

“And that she did,” DeLauro said.

“I think my grandmother believed it was the power of prayer, and she was probably right, that saved my mom.”

In her speech, Delauro also promised to fight for medical advances and economic relief in recovering from this pandemic.

DeLauro currently chairs an Appropriations subcommittee dedicated to addressing the pandemic through funding federal programs in health, labor, and education. “I have been proud to help to shape the relief packages,” she said.

DeLauro cited a $480 billion package to help small businesses and hospitals approved by Congress in late April, which includes $25 billion to expand testing and improve diagnostics.

“We may have more of that this week” DeLauro added.

“And now I am fighting for those dollars to go to good use. To go to families, workers, to ending this crisis and reopening our economy.”

In her acceptance speech, DeLauro referenced a bipartisan hearing she hosted in Washington last week on the coronavirus. “I was angry that the White House mismanaged America’s response to the pandemic. This is a failure of leadership that will cost lives and I am upset that we still do not have the testing or personal protective equipment capacity necessary to get this under control.”

As she did in the hearing, DeLauro attacked President Trump as “focused on skirting transparency and shirking accountability.”

DeLauro called out Senate Republicans who “snuck in” a $135 billion tax giveaway for millionaire hedge fund managers and real estate developers in the stimulus bill providing working people one-time stimulus checks of up to $1,200. “It is unconscionable, but unfortunately, unsurprising,” DeLauro said. She added that she hopes a new package that would repeal the “giveaway” will pass within the next week.

“And you know me. I’m ready for a fight. So I say damn the torpedoes full, speed ahead.”

DeLauro concluded her speech quoting President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The success or failure of any government in the final analysis must be measured by the well-being of its citizens. … The state’s paramount concern should be the health of its people.”

Sarah Locke

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