NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time in more than three decades, the next Congress will be without New York Rep. Nita Lowey.
She’s retiring, and looking back on a career that included the smashing of several glass ceilings.
Lowey recently spoke with CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Back in November 1988, CBS2 caught up with newly elected Congresswoman Lowey outside a Westchester County supermarket.
“Now, it’s time for me to go to Washington and deliver,” Lowey said at the time.
And deliver she did, over a 32-year congressional career.
“When I began my career in Congress there were hardly any women, there were only 31,” Lowey told Aiello recently.
Lowey was the first woman to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the first to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
She is retiring with a reputation as a supremely effective legislator.
“She has made big things happen, and small things happen. Her impact was incredible,” New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.
“Bills, legislation that really improved lives here in the Hudson Valley. The .08 drunk-driving standard I’m very proud of, and food allergy labeling,” Lowey said.
In 1995, Lowey used some puppet pals to argue against cuts to the PBS budget.
In 1999, she raised $2 million for a U.S. Senate run, but dutifully bowed out when then-first lady Hillary Clinton set her sights on the seat.
Some might look back with regret, but not Lowey.
“Not at all. I love all the accomplishments that I’ve had,” she said.
That includes some fun moments in the pop culture spotlight, including being an answer on the popular game show “Jeopardy!”
“By the way, I was also a clue in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle,” Lowey said.
Lowey said she is retiring with deep gratitude for the opportunity to serve, and rightful pride in the impact she made.
Lowey noted she’ll be “hanging around” Congress for years to come. Her portrait will be unveiled in the House Appropriations Committee room on Dec. 7.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK