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February 17, 2021

Rep. Pressley’s Statement on the Passing of Doris Bunte

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) today issued the following statement on the passing of former State Representative and housing advocate Doris Bunte:

“Today, Boston mourns the loss Doris Bunte, a history-maker and a lifelong public servant. Doris Bunte was a trailblazer, housing rights advocate and political pioneer as the first Black woman elected to the Massachusetts Legislature. Her many efforts as a policymaker and advocate amplified the voices of our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbors, and those who are too often ignored. She was unapologetically Black and relentless in advocating for the needs of her community.

“Doris Bunte is Black History and she is Boston’s Black History. I am because of Doris Bunte. Her trailblazing spirit opened the door for myself and other Black women to serve in elected office. I am honored to stand on her shoulders, I am inspired by her witness, and I am committed to continuing her work of ensuring those closest to the pain are closest to the power.”

Congresswoman Pressley quoted Doris Bunte, who once said “being poor is not a character flaw,” in a May 2019 House Financial Services Committee hearing at which she held then-Housing Secretary Ben Carson accountable for his department’s failure to protect the health and well-being of Americans living in public housing.

Full video of her exchange with Secretary Carson is available here.

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