Senator JENNIFER BECK
District 11 (Monmouth)
Senator CHRISTOPHER "KIP" BATEMAN
District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)
Senators Thompson, Oroho, Connors, Doherty, Addiego, Kyrillos, Pennacchio, Holzapfel, Cardinale, Allen, Singer and T.Kean
Honors Millicent Fenwick’s life, memory, and accomplishments.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Senate Resolution honoring Millicent Fenwick’s life, memory, and accomplishments.
Whereas, Millicent Fenwick was a colorful public figure, known for her pipe smoking and patrician manner, who provided the citizens of New Jersey with more than 50 years of public service; and
Whereas, Born in New York City in 1910, Millicent Fenwick attended Columbia University and studied with the philosopher Bertrand Russell at the New School for Social Research before working on several Conde Nast publications, including Vogue; and
Whereas, Millicent Fenwick’s career in politics began in the 1930’s when, in response to the rise of Adolf Hitler, she joined the National Conference of Christians and Jews and began speaking publicly in opposition to anti-Semitism; and
Whereas, A longtime resident of Bernardsville, New Jersey, Millicent Fenwick began her career in public service by serving on the Bernardsville Board of Education, chairing the Somerset County Legal Aid Society and the Bernardsville Recreation Commission, and serving as a member of the Bernardsville Borough Council; and
Whereas, Millicent Fenwick was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1970, where, during her first term in office, she was the prime sponsor of an enactment that amended the State’s civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or marital status; and
Whereas, Following her tenure in the General Assembly, Millicent Fenwick served as the State’s first Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs before winning a seat in the United States House of representatives in 1974; and
Whereas, Known for her independence, integrity, outspokenness, and wit, during her four terms in Congress Millicent Fenwick was a fervent advocate for human rights, fiscal conservatism, and campaign finance reform; and
Whereas, Dubbed the “Conscience of Congress” by the news anchor Walter Cronkite, Millicent Fenwick was a national figure who also served as the basis for Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury character, Lacey Davenport; and
Whereas, In addition to speaking out against anti-Semitism during the rise of fascism and working to end discrimination on the basis of sex in New Jersey, Millicent Fenwick’s lifelong commitment to civil rights included joining the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1946, serving for more than a decade on the New Jersey committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and helping create the 1975 Helsinki Agreement on Human Rights and the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors compliance with the agreement; and
Whereas, After leaving the House of Representatives, Millicent Fenwick was appointed to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, where she served with the rank of ambassador before retiring to Bernardsville, where she lived until her death in 1992; and
Whereas, In 2011, New Jersey designated the month of March as Women’s History Month in recognition of the many accomplishments of American women and the contributions they have made to the history of both New Jersey and the United States; and
Whereas, Millicent Fenwick’s years of public service, integrity, independence, and commitment to women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights distinguish her as an admirable and inspirational figure in New Jersey history; and
Whereas, It is therefore appropriate, during Women’s History Month, to recognize and celebrate Millicent Fenwick’s life and her many deeds and accomplishments; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Senate hereby honors and commemorates the life, memory, and accomplishments of Millicent Fenwick, including her commitment to women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights, her integrity and independence throughout her more than 50 years of public service, and her outspoken advocacy for causes of justice.
2. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the Governor.
This Senate Resolution honors and commemorates the life, memory, and accomplishments of Millicent Fenwick, a longtime resident of Bernardsville who spent more than 50 years in public service, including serving in the New Jersey General Assembly and in the United States House of Representatives. Millicent Fenwick was an outspoken advocate for causes that included women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights. Known for her wit, integrity, and independence, Millicent Fenwick was the inspiration for the Doonesbury character Lacey Davenport and was dubbed by Walter Cronkite as the “Conscience of Congress.”
March is Women’s History Month in New Jersey, and it is therefore appropriate to celebrate the life, achievements, and memory of Millicent Fenwick, an inspiring and colorful figure in the history of New Jersey.