ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Whether it was a beauty pageant, a singing competition or a race for Congress, Louise Slaughter wanted to win.
As Slaughter's youngest daughter, Emily Robin Minerva saw that drive day in and day out.
Slaughter died on March 16 after serving three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, but it was clear from Minerva's interview with Adam Chodak her mother's passion to promote change swelled well before she entered politics.
Here's some of the Q&A:
Adam: What was it like to grow up in politics?
Minerva: It's always hard to answer because you don't grow out of politics when you grow up in politics … It was 1971 when she first ran for county legislature and I started campaigning with her when I came home from kindergarten. When I came home we'd go out and go canvas … I'd hear her on the radio and go, “Oh, there's my mom on the radio” … We went to the convention in 1972 with my sisters who were older and got more out of it than I did.
Adam: When did you realize your mom was different from many other moms?
Minerva: She ran for county legislature in 1971 and she lost, by a small amount, couple hundred votes. She ran in 1973 and she lost by fewer votes and she even sued thinking there was a problem with the lever on some of the voting machines. The third time, she won.
I was in school in London and I said I'll come home if you run for Congress. And we were at Red Wings stadium for a meet and greet for candidates night and someone yelled, “Are you related to Sgt. Slaughter?” And she said, “I'm his mother!” And I was like, she's funny. She was so quick and I was like she's really good at this.
Adam: Where did that passion come from?
Minerva: She always said it would have been very painful to lose reelection. She said that must really hurt to be elected and have people say I don't want you anymore. She was stubborn. And the genetics bill, she'd always talk about that. She'd say that took me 14 years, took me 14 years to get through.
Adam: Your mother and father, Bob, were truly partners.
Minerva: He was always there. He was there at rules committee where they'd meet until midnight because he'd give her a ride home. He'd always say, “Did you see your mother on rules committee today?” I'd be like, “No, dad, I wasn't watching rules committee.” After she broke her leg, he drove her to DC every week and drove her home … He loved to go out and put the lawn signs up so he'd get the list and put peoples' lawn signs up.
Adam: What should we take away from her work?
Minerva: I think she'd like people to know that anyone can make a difference.
Speaking of making a difference, Minerva and her sisters have started a foundation in their parents name in order to promote the issues they championed.
Click here if you'd like to learn more about it.
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