Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz
52nd Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee
Incumbent
Assumed office
May 4, 2011
Nominated by Barack Obama
Preceded by Tim Kaine
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 20th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded by Peter Deutsch
Member of the Florida State Senate from the 34th District
In office
January 20, 2003 – November 2, 2004
Preceded by Alberto Gutman
Succeeded by Nan Rich
Member of the Florida State Senate from the 32nd District
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Howard C. Forman
Succeeded by Walter Campbell, Jr.
Member of the
Florida House of Representatives
from from the 97th District
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Fred Lippman
Succeeded by Nan Rich
Personal details
Born September 27, 1966 (1966-09-27) (age 47)
Forest Hills, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Steve Schultz
Relations Larry Wasserman, CPA (father)
Ann Wasserman
Children Shelby
Jake and Rebecca (Twins, c:a 2000)
Residence Weston, Florida
Alma mater University of Florida (B.A., M.A.)
Occupation Politician
Religion Judaism
Signature
[1][2]

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (born September 27, 1966) is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 20th congressional district since 2005. She is the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, the leader the Democratic Party. From 1993 to 2004, she served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate.

Her district covers parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Her district includes the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach.

Early life, education and career[change | change source]

She was born Deborah Wasserman in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City. She grew up on Long Island. She received a Bachelor of Arts in 1988 and a Master of Arts with certificate in political campaigning in 1990, both in Political Science, from the University of Florida, in Gainesville.[3][4]

At the University of Florida, Schultz was in student government. She was President of the Student Senate as well as founder and President of the Rawlings Area Council Government.[5] She was also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, the James C. Grimm chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary, and the union Graduate Assistants United. She served as President of the Graduate Student Council.[5] She said that student politics developed her "love for politics and the political process."[6]

Florida House of Representatives[change | change source]

In 1988 Schultz became an aide to Peter Deutsch at the beginning of his state legislative career.[4][7] In 1992, Deutsch won election to the United States House of Representatives, which made his Florida post vancant. Schultz recalled getting a call from Deutsch at the time: "It was really amazing. He called me at home one day in the middle of the legislative session and he said, 'You could run in my race, your house is in my district.'"[7] She had lived in the district for only three years. Schultz then won 53 percent of the vote in a six-way Democratic primary and avoided a runoff.[7] She went on to win the general election and succeeded Deutsch in Florida's House of Representatives. At the age of 26, she became the youngest female legislator in Florida's history.[4][8]

She served in the Florida State House of Representatives for eight years. State term limits required Schultz to leave the House.[4] In addition to her work as a state legislator, she became an adjunct instructor of political science at Broward Community College. She also worked as a public policy curriculum specialist at Nova Southeastern University. She was elected to the Florida State Senate in 2000. She was considered one of the most liberal members of Florida's state legislature. She supported legislation requiring gender price parity for dry cleaning. She supported bills to require that an equal number of men and women were appointed to state boards. She pushed through several bills including the Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act and one creating a Children's Services Council for Broward County. The Save The Manatee Club gave Schultz an award for her work in the state senate to protect manatees.

U.S. House of Representatives[change | change source]

Committee assignments[change | change source]

She serves on the following committees:

Party leadership[change | change source]

She is Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democrats. Schultz is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

Schultz was appointed to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in her first term in Congress. During the 2006 elections, she raised over seventeen million dollars in campaign contributions for her Democratic colleagues. The only two congressmen to raise more money that year were Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel. Democrats in the House of Representatives chose her to be Chief Deputy Whip. They appointed her to the Appropriations Committee. (This was a very good job for a congresswoman with only two years of experience.)

She is a member of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's "30 Something" Working Group, which consists of congressional Democrats under age 40. The group concentrates on issues affecting young people, including Social Security. She also has joined the bipartisan Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus. According to the Congress.org 2008 Power Rankings, she was the 24th most powerful member of the House and 22nd most powerful Democratic representative (also most powerful Florida representative).[9]

Chair of the Democratic National Committee[change | change source]

In April 2011, Tim Kaine resigned as Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman in order to run for the United States Senate. On April 5, 2011, President Barack Obama chose Schultz to succeed Kaine as the 52nd Chairman of the DNC. Between Kaine's resignation and the next DNC meeting, current DNC Vice-Chair Donna Brazile served as the interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee. On May 4, 2011, the DNC met and elected Schultz as its chair.[10] Schultz became the third female DNC chief in history and the first in over 15 years.

Personal life[change | change source]

Schultz currently lives in Weston outside Fort Lauderdale. She has three children and is married to Steve Schultz. She is an active member of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Planned Parenthood and Hadassah.

In March 2009, she said that she went through seven surgeries related to breast cancer in 2008, while remaining a member of the House. That year, she promoted efforts for early screening for breast cancer.[2]

Awards[change | change source]

  • Giraffe award, Women's Advocacy Majority Minority (WAMM), 1993
  • Outstanding Family Advocacy award, Dade County Psychol. Assn., 1993
  • Rosemary Barkett award, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1995
  • Woman of the Year, AMIT, 1994
  • Outstanding Legislator of the year, Florida Federation of Business & Professional Women, 1994
  • Quality Floridian, Florida League of Cities, 1994
  • Woman of Vision, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • One of Six Most Unstoppable Women, South Florida Magazine, 1994.[11]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Debbie Wasserman Schultz." Carroll's State Directory. Carroll Publishing, 2006. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. Document Number: K2416014764.(http://www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC). Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-04-25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Doup, Liz (April 5, 2009). "Debbie Wasserman Schultz shows steely resolve in grueling cancer battle. A hectic workload. A young family. And seven cancer surgeries. But Wasserman Schultz keeps going.". South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Forum Publishing Group). http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/health/sfl-wasserman-schultz-cancer-a04.ar0sbapr05,0,2806724.story. Retrieved 2009-04-25. "For two weeks, she's hit the stump, talking about her breast cancer battle.The seven surgeries, including a double mastectomy. The nearly nonstop work load. And how she kept it quiet from her children — and constituents and colleagues, telling only about a dozen people, including family and staff....
    "I remember how she was only half out of anesthesia and she was on the BlackBerry," says her brother, Steve Wasserman, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, who was with her during the mastectomy. Nine days after that surgery in February 2008, she hosted a fundraiser for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while getting pain medication from a pump hidden in her purse. "I didn't talk about it — I didn't want to talk about it," she says, referring to the cancer. After a doctor removed the lump in her right breast, tests showed a genetic mutation putting her at high risk for a recurrence of breast or ovarian cancer. She didn't hesitate. Her breasts and ovaries had to go. And, yes, she mourned her breasts."
  3. "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz." Florida House of Representatives
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 E.J. Kessler (March 4, 2005). "Florida Democrat Blazing Her Own Trail on Capitol Hill". The Jewish Forward. http://www.forward.com/articles/florida-democrat-blazing-her-own-trail-on-capitol/. Retrieved on Jan. 7, 2007
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz," Florida House of Representatives.
  6. Schultz, Debbie Wasserman. "Speech to Harvard Model Congress: Youth Participation In Politics." 4 Mar. 2006.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Election to House caps fast ascent for Florida woman seen as rising star". JTA. 2004-11-08. http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?intarticleid=14712&intcategoryid=3. Retrieved on Jan. 9, 2007
  8. "Debbie Wasserman Schultz." Carroll's Federal Directory. Carroll Publishing, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. Document Number: K2415004095. (http://www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC). Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-04-25.
  9. "Congress.org - Power Rankings 2008". http://www.congress.org/congressorg/power_rankings/overall.tt. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  10. http://www.democrats.org/news/blog/breaking_news_debbie_wasserman_schultz_elected_dnc_chair
  11. "Debbie Wasserman Schultz." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. (http://www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC). Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-04-25. Document Number: K2014090239.

Other websites[change | change source]

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by
Fred Lippman
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 97th district

1993–2001
Succeeded by
Nan Rich
Florida Senate
Preceded by
Howard C. Forman
Florida State Senator from the 32nd district
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Walter Campbell, Jr.
Preceded by
Alberto Gutman
Florida State Senator from the 34th district
2003–2004
Succeeded by
Nan Rich
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Peter Deutsch
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 20th congressional district

2005–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Susan Turnbull
Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
2009-2011
Served alongside: Raymond Buckley, Donna Brazile,
Linda Chavez-Thompson, and Mike Honda
Vacant
Preceded by
Lottie Shackelford
Preceded by
Mark Brewer
Preceded by
Tim Kaine
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
2011-present
Incumbent
Order of Precedence of the United States of America
Preceded by
Allyson Schwartz
D-Pennsylvania
United States Representatives by seniority
255th
Succeeded by
Lynn Westmoreland
R-Georgia