Congresswoman Laura Richardson with the late Senator TedKennedyÂ
My Moments with the Giant, Sunny and SplashWashington DC-Congresswoman Richardson issued the following statement today on the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy:"Senator Kennedy was a giant: one with great skills not surpassed by humility and tremendous personal and political resilience. If there was ever an ambassador for the American people to the halls of legislative power, it was Senator Ted Kennedy."Over a lifetime of service, Senator Kennedy's work, his commitment to everyday Americans and his unique political prowess produced a wealth of accomplishments that ranged from expanding children's healthcare to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and beyond, which are evident in neighborhood living rooms all across this country."I first met Senator Kennedy (and his two dogs, Sunny and Splash) when I visited Washington as a member of the California State Assembly in April 2007. After listening carefully about my district and our challenges, we ended the meeting with Sunny giving me his seal of approval by a kiss of support."Later, when I was elected to Congress in September 2007, Senator Kennedy sent me a copy of the book Women in Congress 1917-2006, wished me well, and offered his assistance. I was fortunate again to share a few moments with him in April of 2008 when Pope Benedict visited Washington, DC in the new stadium. We talked about my family's origins from back east, my nephew being named after him and then we closed by worshipping and experiencing the historic moment together."Senator Ted Kennedy has touched millions of lives throughout his historic career as a public servant and our country is a far better place today because of him. My thoughts and prayers are with his devoted wife Vicki, his son and my colleague Patrick and the entire Kennedy family."Congresswoman Richardson is a Democrat from California's 37th Congressional District. Her district includes the city of Long Beach, Compton, Carson, Watts, Willowbrooke and Signal Hill. She is a member of the House Committees on Transportation & Infrastructure and Homeland Security.