Ayanna Pressley had her heart set on a Capitol Hill office previously occupied by her “shero,” Shirley Chisholm. A fellow incoming freshman Democrat helped her dream come true.
At the high-stakes office lottery for newly elected members of Congress last month, Pressley called on an iconic former lawmaker’s good vibes, announcing as she approached the number-filled box that if Chisholm were still alive, she would be celebrating her 94th birthday. Chisholm was the first black woman ever elected to serve in the House.
Pressley is the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. She called Chisholm her “shero” ahead of November’s midterm elections, saying that political hopefuls across the country were following in her footsteps.
Pressley drew number 38, which left her with slim chances to pick the exact office she’d want. But California Democrat Katie Hill, who chose number 7, gave Pressley the gift of a lifetime, offering to switch offices.
On lottery day Pressley selected Longworth 1130, and Hill chose office 1108 in the same building.
“We just learned my Congressional Office designation will be #ShirleyChisholm 's former office,” she announced in a tweet.
Wow! TY Mommy for the extra bday luck! We just learned my Congressional Office designation will be #ShirleyChisholm 's former office. How's that for divine intervention, AND the selflessness of my colleague @KatieHill4CA who drew a better lottery# but still wanted me to have it.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 17, 2018
In a statement Monday, a spokesperson for Pressley said she is “deeply thankful to [her] colleague, Congresswoman-elect Katie Hill of California, for so graciously offering to switch offices.”
The unofficial office and phone directory published by the House clerk’s office still has each member-elect in the office suites they selected on lottery day.
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