Serving the Public in Elected Office (A-5)

Title

Serving the Public in Elected Office (A-5)

Description

“What made you choose this career is what made me go into politics – a chance to serve, to make a difference. It is not just a job. It is a vocation.” 
 
-Tony Blair

 
Elected officials are political leaders at the federal, state and local levels of government.  They include presidents, prime ministers, congressmen and congresswomen, governors, legislators, mayors and county executives. In North America, for example, there are also elected tribal leaders- chiefs, who are recognized by the federal government. The term of office for elected officials varies from two to six years. In most cases elected officials can be re-elected for more than one term. There is usually no limit on the number of terms officials elected to congress can serve. The Presidents of the United States, however, can serve in office for a maximum of two four year terms.
 
Elected officials bear the responsibility as citizens’ representatives, to fulfill their promise of public service and of protecting the publics’ trust. The media pays a lot of attention to elected officials to ensure that they live up to the electorate’s expectations. The public expects that their service will not be motivated by personal career and financial aspirations, but rather by an intrinsic desire to contribute to the common good. For this reason, the service of elected officials is regarded as a vocation, or “calling” inspired by an interest in public policy, compassion for others,  and commitment to servicing others more so than for personal gain. In a democracy people from all walks of life who hear the ‘calling’ to public service can campaign to become elected officials to serve in government. Their families often share in their commitment to public service and traditionally take on missions of their own, with some becoming celebrated for the contributions they make to their communities and beyond. United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1933-45), for example, successfully led the formulation of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) in the immediate post World War 2 period. This international agreement declares the right to life for all people, with rights to privacy, nationality, safety and security, fair trial, freedom of thought and expression, education, assembly and property.

First U.S. Senators

This featured exhibit presents the first U.S. Senators from different minority groups across the US diverse population. 

Collection Items

1845-51 & 1855-61 David Levy Yulee - First Jewish American U.S. Senator
David Levy Yulee was a Delegate and a Senator from Florida; born David Levy in St. Thomas, West Indies, June 12, 1810. At the age of nine was sent to the United States to Norfolk, Virginia to attend a private school. He studied law in St. Augustine,…

1869-1871 Hiram Rhodes Revels - First African American appointed to serve in the U.S. Senate
Hiram Rhodes Revels: 1827-1901. Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina . Revels is the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress (41st, 1869-1871). He was a member of the Republican Party. Revels was ordained in the African Methodist…

1907 - 1925 Robert Latham Owen - First US Senator of Native American Descent
Oklahoma Sen. Robert L. Owen (1907-1925) was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1856, to Robert Owen, president of the Virginia and Tennessee Railway, and Narcissa Clark Chisholm. As a ten-year-old, Owen attended school near Baltimore and later…

1921-1923 Rebecca Latimer Felton - First Woman to serve as a U.S. Senator
Rebecca Felton’s 1835-1930, was born in De Kalb County, Georgia. She is the first Woman to join the U.S. Senate, (67th 1921-23). Her brief and essentially symbolic service in the Senate stood in contrast to her decades of participation in Georgia…

1928-1929 Octaviano Larrazolo - First Hispanic American U.S. Senator
Octaviano Larrazolo was the first Hispanic to serve in the United States Senate and was in office during the Seventieth Congress 12/07/ 1928 – 03/03/1929. He was born (1859) in Allende in the Mexican state of Chihuahua (1859), where he lived until he…

1959 - 1977 Hiram Leong Fong - First Asian American elected to the U.S. Senate
Senator Hiram Leong Fong became one of Hawaii’s first two U.S. Senators in 1959, upon the state’s admission to the Union. The son of Chinese immigrants, Fong was also the first U.S. Senator of Asian ancestry. During his nearly 18 years in the Senate,…

Jonathan Trumbull Governor of Connecticut 1797–1809
Jonathan Trumbull was a Representative and a Senator from Connecticut; born in Lebanon, Conn., March 26, 1740. He graduated from Harvard College in 1759 and was a member of the Conneticut State legislature 1774-1775, 1779-1780, 1788, and served as…

Margaret B. Laird - Elected to New Jersey Assembly- 1920
Mrs. Margaret B. Laird was for four years treasurer N.J. Branch National Woman's Party. The origins of the National Woman's Party (NWP) date from 1912, when Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, young Americans schooled in the militant tactics of the British…

Past Mayors of Newark, New Jersey, 1836-1884
The City of Newark's anniversary industrial exposition in 1916 celebrated the 250th anniversary of the settlement of the City. This composition was produced by the Newark, N.J. Committee of one hundred for the 250th Celebration of the founding of…

George Clinton Governor of New York, 1739 - 1812
George Clinton 1739 – 1812 was an American soldier and statesman, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Governor of New York from 1777 to 1795, then again from 1801 to 1804, then serving as the fourth Vice…
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