74-year-old Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) is the longest-serving woman in Congress. She says she feels alienated from the party she has represented since 1983. The Toledo born Polish-American, daughter of a union organizer, said in an interview on Tuesday with the Hill that many Democrats in the D.C. elite cannot relate to her mostly blue-collar constituents.
We in Ohio know the true value of hard work and manufacturing. Today’s executive order is all about supporting the workers, families, and small businesses that anchor our communities and economy. #BuyAmerican #MadeInAmerica https://t.co/ZzjOI44WJz
— Marcy Kaptur (@RepMarcyKaptur) January 25, 2021
During the interview, she shared the story of a recent conversation she had with a colleague in which she lamented the economic woes of the industrial Mid-West. The colleague’s response was to tell her that people should “just leave.”
“They just can’t understand,” she told The Hill. “They can’t understand a family that sticks together because that’s what they have. Their loved ones are what they have, their little town, their home, as humble as it is—that’s what they have. Respect it. It was so insensitive.”
Kaptur represents Ohio’s Ninth District, which includes Toledo. According to her biography on her official congressional website, her family ran a local grocery store, and “her mother later served on the original organizing committee of a trade union at the Champion Spark Plug factory in Toledo.” Having attended the University of Wisconsin (1968) and later completing a Master’s degree in urban planning at the University of Michigan, she was the first in her family to graduate from college. She also pursued doctoral studies at MIT in urban planning development finance in 1981.