Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Barbara Levy Boxer, Delta Phi Epsilon

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the NPC blog will spotlight Panhellenic women who are “Working to Form a More Perfect Union.” Along with the theme of Women’s History Month, we recognize women from public service and government. This week's featured Panhellenic woman is Senator Barbara Levy Boxer a member of Delta Phi Epsilon.

Barbara Levy Boxer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Brooklyn College where she received a bachelor’s degree in economics. Following college, she went to work as a secretary and then as a stockbroker to support her husband Stewart while he attended Fordham Law School. The Boxers moved to California and had two children.

After running for office and losing in 1972, Barbara worked as a journalist and then an aide for Congressman John Burton. She ran for office again and was elected Marin County supervisor where she served for six years and became the first woman president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

In 1982, she successfully ran for retiring Congressman John Burton’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and won. She served in this role for 10 years. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee she worked to reveal incidents of overspending by the Pentagon. In 1991, during the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas for Supreme Court justice, she led a march of women in support of Anita Hill, who had accused Thomas of harassment. 

In 1992, California Senator Alan Cranston retired and Barbara was elected to his seat. In 2004, when she ran for her third term as senator, Barbara received nearly 7 million votes, the most votes for a Senate seat in U.S. history. She is currently serving her fourth term as senator and announced that she will retire at the end of this term. Following the 2004 election, she took a position in the Democratic Party's senate leadership as Chief Deputy Whip.  She currently serves as the chair of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

Barbara has said, “More than anything, I think as our country matures, we recognize that women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.”