In one of her final acts as councilwoman, Elizabeth Crowley took time to honor a pioneering transit leader.
Julia Roman came to the United States from the Dominican Republic and became a citizen. She joined Nontraditional Employment for Women, an organization that trains and places women in careers like construction, maintenance and utility.
She learned the electrical trade and joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 3, and eventually got a job as an elevator mechanic.
She left to join New York City Transit, where she was the first woman shop steward for Transport Works Union (TWU) Local 100.
On November 16, 2017, Roman gave birth to twins, but died soon thereafter due to complications. She is survived by her husband victory and children Valerie, Dwayne, Victoria, Isabella and Grace.
To honor her legacy, Crowley introduced Local Law 55, which requires the Department of Health to report annually on maternal mortality.
“Julia’s death is a painful reminder that maternal mortality still happens in the 21st century, Crowley said. “We are highlighting the fact that despite all of the modern medicine available and medical advancements, more women in the U.S. are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country.”