The Associated Press (via the Huffington Post) reports that Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald passed away this morning at her home in Carson. Late last week she announced she had cancer and asked to take “a four- to six-week leave of absence from the House last week to deal with her illness”. She was 68.
According to her official website, a University of California study called the congresswoman “one of the five most effective Members of Congress given her ability to reach across the aisle to effectively move bipartisan legislation.”
As the first African American woman in history to hold the distinguished position of Ranking Member on the powerful Committee on House Administration, she oversees the operation of the House of Representatives; the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian Institute; the National Zoo; and all federal elections.
Millender-McDonald was also the first African American woman to serve on the Carson City Council.
She is survived by her husband, James McDonald, Jr., five children, and five grandchildren.