BOSTON (CBS) — Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm was an early inspiration for Framingham Mayor Dr. Yvonne Spicer. She met the trailblazer at just six-years-old.
“This beautiful African American woman walks in and we knew she was a congresswoman and we didn’t know what a congresswoman did. So we asked her ‘what a congresswoman do?’ and I remember her saying ‘I help children,'” says Spicer.
Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and the first woman to run for president, laying the groundwork for Spicer’s own path to history.
Spicer says, “I was inspired by that, and little did I know being six-years-old, the impact this woman would have on my life going forward.”
Spicer, a Brooklyn native, embarked on an impressive career in education, from teaching and becoming an administrator in Framingham Schools, to advancing to become a vice president at the Boston Museum of Science.
Her passion for education and creating opportunities for all children became a cornerstone in her campaign to become Framingham’s first mayor.
Spicer is also the first African-American woman to be elected mayor by the voters of Massachusetts.
The political newcomer launched her successful grassroots campaign on a pledge to be “the people’s mayor” and built a diverse coalition of support.
Spicer says, “I’m a pretty strong woman, I also know a lot about personal struggle, and that’s why I can be empathetic to others that are struggling.”
“I think people have had enough of the negativity, they want to see some positive results.”