2018-01-03 / Front Page

Crowley Posthumously Honors Woman Transit Pioneer

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley presented a City Council Proclamation to Julia Roman’s family for her accomplishments. Crowley was joined by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Peter Koo, and other officials.

 

 
Council Member Elizabeth Crowley presented a City Council Proclamation to Julia Roman’s family for her accomplishments. Crowley was joined by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Peter Koo, and other officials. Julia Roman came to the United States from the Dominican Republic to become a citizen and create a life for herself and future family.

She moved to New York City and joined Nontraditional Employment for Women, an organization that prepares, trains and places women in careers in the skilled construction, utility and maintenance trades – helping women achieve economic independence and secure a bright future. Before long, she had learned the electrical trade and joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 3, and along the way honed her skills as an elevator apprentice before being promoted to elevator mechanic. She ultimately left the private sector to join New York City Transit, where she became the first woman shop steward for Transport Workers Union Local 100.

Like countless women, Roman worked tirelessly to juggle all the responsibilities of a career and a growing family to secure a better life for her children. On November 16, 2017, she gave birth to fraternal twins. The celebration, however, was interrupted by tragedy. Roman died shortly after due to childbirth complications.

“Julia’s death is a painful reminder that maternal mortality still happens in the 21st century,” Crowley said. “We are not only honoring her for her work in the trades, or for juggling such an exceptional career with the demands of motherhood. We are highlighting the fact that despite all of the modern medicine available and medical advancements, more women in the United States are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country.”

Crowley sponsored Local Law 55 which requires the Department of Health to report annually on maternal mortality. This will lead to recommendations on steps that can be taken by the department and others to reduce maternal mortality.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that Julia’s life was not lived in vain, and that we as a city address maternal mortality head on. Hospitals have been found to be woefully unprepared for a maternal emergency,” Crowley said. “This is unacceptable. We have to change our reality and protect these mothers who are bringing new life into our world.”

Roman is survived by her devoted husband, Victor, and her children, Valerie, Dwayne, Victoria, Isabella and Grace.

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