U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), front left, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), front right, accompany other representatives to promote women’s success.
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), the House of Representatives’ minority leader, led a bus tour around Ohio to promote a women’s economic agenda on Tuesday. The tour finished at a Toledo restaurant owned by a woman, with U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) accompanying the former Speaker of the House for part of the trip.
Just after 7 p.m., a big bus emblazoned with the slogan, “When WOMEN succeed AMERICA succeeds,” rolled to a stop outside Ruby’s Kitchen on Dorr Street.
And as Miss Kaptur, Ms. Pelosi, and three other female members of Congress stepped off, Ruby Butler and her daughters Sabrena Chatman and Sonda Hicks shook their hands in welcome — then posed for pictures with the delegation.
“I can’t remember when this high-ranking type of female delegation has ever come to our community,” Miss Kaptur said to a crowd of more than 100 — women, men, girls, boys, elected officials, party supporters — gathered inside to hear the message and to sample Ms. Butler’s peach cobbler.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bus tour rolls into Toledo
Miss Kaptur spoke glowingly of Ms. Butler, a Chrysler retiree who dreamed of opening her own enterprise. She opened the restaurant about 10 years ago.
“We are so proud of her,” Miss Kaptur said.
Ms. Butler thanked those in attendance, adding, “I truly need you. I don’t want to cry, but I truly need you to help me to succeed. I struggled a lot. I struggled a lot.”
She recovered, and to Miss Kaptur and Ms. Pelosi, said: “Marcy, I love you, girl. And Nancy, I truly love you. I tell you, when I know you’re on TV, I’m there watching, and I’m just so honored for them to make me special to come here.”
Joyce Beatty, member of Congress from Columbus, right, talks to Ruby Butler, center. Ruby, owner of Ruby's Kitchen, has her arm around Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.
Also on the bus tour and at Ruby’s Kitchen were U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Joyce Beatty of Columbus, and Donna Edwards of Maryland, all Democrats who joined Ms. Pelosi in words of praise for Miss Kaptur and Ms. Butler. Ms. Edwards even tweeted a photo of her meal at Ruby’s.
Ms. Pelosi said small businesses like Ms. Butler’s need customers. She said that raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, paid sick days for families, and affordable quality child care “enable women to unleash their power in the work force, to be able to make money to raise a family, to be consumers, to be customers, and to grow our economy.
“It has a double effect, and it’s long, long, long overdue,” Ms Pelosi said.
“It’s really trying to link to women and their economic interests in politics in the upcoming election and trying to show why voting matters,” Miss Kaptur said. “The livelihood, the welfare of your family are connected to your vote.”
The tour, which is bound for Chicago, began in Seneca Falls, N.Y., where a women’s rights convention, often regarded as pioneering, took place in 1848.
Not mentioned by the bus tour speakers was the issue of the threatened closing of the city’s last abortion clinic, Capital Care Network. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald on Tuesday issued a statement blasting Republican Gov. John Kasich’s role in the clinic’s forced closing.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with supporters.
“Governor Kasich is telling the women of northwest Ohio that if they want access to affordable, quality health care they have to leave the state. By refusing to allow these women’s health clinics to partner with nearby public hospitals, the governor is putting politics ahead of women’s health and safety.”
The clinic is fighting a state health department order that it shut down because it does not have a transfer agreement with a local hospital.
Mr. Kasich added language to the state budget last year requiring ambulatory surgical centers, such as abortion clinics, to have emergency-care agreements in place with local hospitals if problems arise that the clinic isn’t equipped to handle. The law also prohibits public hospitals from entering into such an agreement.
Chris Schrimpf, spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party, said Mr. FitzGerald mischaracterized the governor’s record on women’s health.
“Thanks to Governor Kasich, 100,000 women in Ohio previously without health-care coverage now have it and for the first time ever, the state’s budget includes funding to support rape crisis centers. In addition, Governor Kasich signed legislation that increases funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings,” Mr. Schrimpf said.