Niki Tsongas won the Democratic primary yesterday for her Congressional bid in Massachusetts' fifth district, where US Representative Martin Meehan (D) has announced he will be stepping down after serving in Congress for 14 years. Tsongas, who has support from the Feminist Majority PAC and EMILY's List, beat out four other contenders in the primary, winning 36 percent of the vote. "This is round one," Tsongas told the Associated Press. "Make no mistake. This election will be a referendum on the presidency of George W. Bush."
Tsongas ran on a multi-issue platform, stressing the importance of ending the Iraq war, reforming the health care system, and preserving the environment. A self-described activist for progressive change, Tsongas points to her experiences as a dean at Massachusetts' largest community college, a member of both corporate and non-profit boards, and a seasoned political campaigner to show that she is committed to going "to Washington to effect change and help facilitate the solutions our country so desperately needs."
In the general election, Tsongas, the daughter of an Air Force colonel, will face Republican Jim Ogonowski, a retired Air Force colonel whose brother was captain of one of the planes hijacked on September 11 and flown into the World Trade Center.
Tsongas' late husband, former Senator Paul Tsongas, formerly held the seat in Massachusetts' fifth district. He went on to serve as a senator and made a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992. Paul Tsongas passed away in 1997 after battling cancer and pneumonia.
Media Resources: AP 9/5/07, 9/4/07; Boston Globe 9/5/07; NikiTsongas.com
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .