THE BLOG
01/15/2009 05:12 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

My Favorite Member of Congress: U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

For 25 years I have been involved in public affairs in New York City. My congresswoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, has come to both my office and home and has been honored by my organization -- Orphans International Worldwide -- for her tremendous humanitarian work helping children. She has assisted our humanitarian aid workers with U.S. Immigration challenges -- and simply been there for Orphans International.

She has also been there for my community, Roosevelt Island, nestled in the East River off the Upper East Side. Of many, many projects, she fought for desperately needed funds to help restore our crumbling seawall, and for improved transit options for our fast growing population.

She has also been there for my city. No one fought longer or harder to see to it that our 9-11 first responders got the follow-up health care and support they had earned putting their lives and their well-being on the line, day after day working on "the poisonous pile." She worked tirelessly to get the records of the 9-11 Commission opened to the public, so that we the people obtained the right to know more about an event that has so shaped our lives.

She has also been there for my state, bringing home $2 million to protect the Adirondack watershed, to name only one accomplishment. And she has had the grit to make un-popular choices when she knew they were the right things to do. She did her homework and knew that the failure of the Big Three auto-makers could cost New York up to 150,000 lost jobs. As much as I am personally disgusted with Detroit, there is no way we could allow our auto industry to collapse. So she cast her vote for the controversial loans to Detroit and took the heat. In politics, that is called a profile in courage.

Heading an international organization to help children in the developing world, and having my own adopted son -- now a teenager -- I am particularly concerned about the lives of children. Time and time again Carolyn Maloney has been there for children everywhere.

For example, alarmed at the effect that pollution has had on the rates of childhood asthma, she worked with community activists in Greenpoint to get the incinerator shut down. She was the driving force behind the recently passed Anti-Trafficking bill, aimed at the exploitation of underage girls in the sex trade. Just this week, in casting her vote for the SCHIP legislation, she declared "No child in America should have to go without proper health care."

Carolyn B. Maloney has been there -- always -- for me, for my children, for my organization, for my community, for my city, for my state, and for my nation.

On the other hand, attending hundreds -- no, thousands -- of meetings and events in New York spanning 25 years, I have never once crossed paths with Caroline Kennedy. I am a huge admirer of John F., Robert K., have met with Robert K. Jr., and especially admire Edward. Being a Luce does not make me Time-Life. Being a Kennedy does not make Caroline Camelot.

Carolyn B. Maloney is a friend of my country, my state, my city, my district, my organization and, of course, myself. Carolyn B. Maloney is the woman who can match Hillary's tremendous stride. Carolyn B. Maloney is the leader that our governor, the Hon. David Paterson, should appoint to be the junior Senator from New York State.