Champion of the People

March 11, 2007

That was the headline in yesterday’s paper. It hovered over the article about Indiana State Senator Anita Bowser. Her funeral was Thursday. You might remember me writing about her in this post. I did not know then that she was struggling with breast cancer. That was one battle she did not win; although she “died with her boots on”. Still hoping that she would make Monday’s morning session, she remained in Indianapolis in hospice, rather than return to her home in Michigan City. She had only a week’s absence and had more bills heard this year than any other. They buried her with a copy of the Indiana State Constitution.

I cried when I read the said news of her passing in Monday’s paper. Even today when I read over the accounts of her various debates on the Senate floor, I am moved to emotion. Why? After all, she was not from my district. She did not represent me, right?

(Michael McArdle/Post-Tribune file)

Wrong. She said what I feel. She spoke for me. They called her “the conscience of the General Assembly”. They said “No one could thunder with more passion and indignation…”. I wish I could have heard her.

I wish I could have heard her the last time at the podium when she condemned the proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same sex marriages. Senator Earline Rogers said she argued that the state constitution was designed to preserve rights, not take them away. I wish I could have heard her when she told them that the Indiana Constitution does not talk about intolerance, and asked “Who next is going to be on your hatred list?”

I wish I could have heard her scold fellow senators who were afraid to vote against the proposed gay marriage ban for fear of losing in the next election. “You’re compromising your integrity for a vote. Does not your conscience bother you about that?”

It was reported in this article, that the Senator “with cancer in her bones and a broken pelvis, was so determined to speak against the resolution that she’d had to make her way to the Senate floor in a wheelchair.”

Senator Bowser considered herself a conservative on constitutional issues, but “on social issues, yes, I guess I’m a liberal. I don’t think it’s bad term, I think it’s a Christian term,” she said. On Tuesday, flowers covered an empty desk while those that worked beside her remembered her “as perhaps the most intelligent, progressive voice in the body”.

There is a pattern in the accounts of her life…a friend to the little guy, an advocate for the less fortunate, a champion of the people. I wonder who will fill her shoes. I wonder who will say what I think. Who will stand up for the downtrodden? Now who will be the champion of the people?

I will miss you, Senator Bowser.

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8 Responses to “Champion of the People”

  1. daddy d Says:

    She was a fine person. She took government seriously for all the people. There needs to be more like her in this world.

  2. Cazzie!!! Says:

    This fine lady is remembered by you and I am sure others of what she stod for and that would be so humbling to her I bet!!!

  3. mjd Says:

    What a lady. She did speak for you, and she spoke for those that did not have a voice. And now we are left to find more people or champions to represent us with such integrity and fervor.

  4. Jay Says:

    We need more people like her in office.

    I’m watching our new governor right now. He’s off to a fast start and is doing goo things. But, the leg is about to vote to ban gays from adopting.

    It will be interesting to see if the gov vetos the bill or is a political coward and just signs it.

  5. debi Says:

    What a wonderful tribute.It’s everyones loss when people like her pass away.

  6. susan Says:

    What an extraordinary person. The world needs more like her, that truely stand up for what they believe in.

  7. Patsy Ann Says:

    You bring her to life again with your fine remembrance of her and praise. You gave a wonderful yulogy (sp?)to her.


  8. […] I don’t know many women in positions of power that I care for. I think it’s because I expect more, and generally get the same old thing. Why are my expectations so high? Are my expectations the same regardless of gender? Is this why I don’t care for Hillary Clinton? I don’t think so. Not many would stack up to Anita Bowser. […]


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