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Senators Schumer And Gillibrand Launched Push Last Year, Supported By Governor Cuomo, To Rename Station For Friend & Colleague To Honor Her Legacy As A Trailblazing Lawmaker & Champion For Rochester Who Made The Station A Reality

Fitting Recognition Will Be A Testament To Congresswoman Slaughter’s Enduring Spirit, Tenacity And Ability To Move Rochester Forward 

Congresswoman Slaughter Was The Driver To Build The New Modern Station And Secured $18.5 Million In Federal Funding For The Project

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today joined with Congresswoman Slaughter’s daughters Emily Robin Minerva and Megan Secatore, members of Rep. Slaughter’s family and staff, Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, and officials from Amtrak and the New York State Department of Transportation to rename and dedicate Rochester’s Amtrak station as the “Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Station.”  Last year to honor Rep. Slaughter’s legacy as a trailblazer who achieved much for her community including the construction of the new Amtrak station, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand wrote to Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson to request Amtrak rename the station in honor of their friend and colleague Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.  Following their push, which was supported by Governor Cuomo, Amtrak agreed to the request enabling this fitting tribute to Congresswoman Slaughter’s enduring legacy.

During the ceremony Schumer joined with Congresswoman Slaughter’s daughters Emily Robin Minerva and Megan Secatore and their families and the local officials to unveil the new “Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Station” sign atop the station entrance, as well as two dedication plaques that now hang in the station lobby and commemorate Rep. Slaughter’s many contributions to both the nation and to her home community. Schumer said whether for her many constituents who will pass through the station’s doors in the decades to come or for those who will make a trip to Rochester for business, family, or fun, it is appropriate to now name the station she created in her honor. 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Louise loved Rochester and its people and would brag about Rochester to anyone within earshot of her trademark lyrical voice.  I can’t think of a more fitting way to welcome the thousands of travelers upon their arrival in Rochester than with Louise’s own picture and words on these plaques and with her name atop this station.  Louise loved and fought every day for her community, and this station would not now exist without Louise’s vision and determination. While we honor her with this dedication today, the real testament to Congresswoman Slaughter’s work is represented by each person every time they are able to pass through this new gateway to Rochester.” 

Emily Robin Minerva said, “Throughout the six decades my mother lived in the Rochester area, she took steps, both large and small, to improve our quality of life here. Securing the federal funds to bring this beautiful, modern train station to reality, was one of her biggest accomplishments for this community. Naming the station for her is a truly wonderful way to honor her legacy of service to all and we are so grateful.”

“The passing of U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter was a tremendous loss to her congressional district and to her constituents,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “She was an inspiration, a friend and a supporter when I served in Congress in Western New York and later as Lieutenant Governor. Together, we championed causes for women, children, and hard-working families that we continue to fight for. The dedication of the Rochester Train Station in her name is a fitting tribute to honor her leadership and her legacy.”

Congressman Joe Morelle said, “Louise loved Monroe County and everyone who called it home – and through her dedicated work in public service, she made immeasurable contributions to our community and our nation. In bearing her name, this train station will inspire all who visit Rochester to follow her legacy of blazing trails, shattering ceilings, and fighting tirelessly for what she believed in.”

“This is a fitting tribute for a woman who did so much for the City of Rochester, including making our new and beautiful train station possible thanks to her persistence in securing federal funds for its construction,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Louise Slaughter was a trailblazer during her time in Congress and will be forever remembered for her many contributions to our community.”

“Louise Slaughter will always be an inseparable part of the Rochester community. She never stopped working to make life better for her constituents, and one of her lasting contributions was fighting to modernize Rochester’s train station,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I was proud to lead the effort to change the station’s name in honor of her legacy. Now, whenever anyone arrives or passes through Rochester by train, they’ll be greeted by her memory and reminded of her unwavering dedication to her community.” 

“The renaming of the Rochester Station to honor Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter is more than a dedication to her legacy, her impact on the station, and to all those that she served so well,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia. “It also allows her esteemed career in public service to be carried on, celebrated, and remembered by the City of Rochester and all New York State residents, visitors, and all who will travel through the new Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Station.”

Ms. Bobbie Wilson, a longtime member of Rep. Slaughter’s staff said, “Congresswoman Slaughter believed that the economic strength of a community is driven in large part by updated available transportation service in all its forms. She worked tirelessly toward that end.”

Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter, citing the many deficiencies of the former Amtrak station, long fought for the construction of the new modern station and led the project by securing $18.5 million in federal funds required to make the new station a reality.  The new station, which opened in October 2017, replaced the former station, which was originally intended to be a “temporary” station yet remained in use for 36 years. The former station was not ADA-compliant, lacked basic traveler amenities, and did not have adequate tracks to simultaneously accommodate both east and westbound trains, which contributed to delays. 

In 2010, Congresswoman Slaughter secured the first round of federal funding for the new train station’s preliminary engineering phase.  She convened many meetings with constituents, businesses, and local stakeholders to ensure its design and development would accommodate all travelers and be a new, efficient gateway to Rochester that honored the legacy of Rochester’s original Claude Bragdon designed station. Then in 2012, she secured a $15 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program. 

At 9,500 square feet, the new station is fully ADA-compliant with a two-sided, high-level passenger platform, which makes it easier for passengers, especially those with physical disabilities and families traveling with young children, to get on and off trains.  It includes an expanded passenger concourse, and ADA-compliant platform and passenger information display systems for deaf and hard of hearing travelers, as well as two new dedicated tracks to simultaneously accommodate east and westbound trains. The dedication plaque unveiled today features a quote made by Congresswoman Slaughter during the station’s 2017 grand opening ceremony in which she praised the benefits of the new station saying, “This station will improve safety, strengthen our economy and give passengers the welcome to our great city that they deserve.”

The ceremony was attended by Rep. Slaughter’s daughter Megan Secatore and her husband Richard Secatore, her daughter Emily Robin Minerva and her husband and daughter Michael Minerva and Ione Minerva. Officials included New York State Lt Governor Kathy Hochul,  Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, New York State Dept. of Transportation Asst. Commissioner Pat Meredith, Amtrak Government Affairs Northeast Regional Manager William Hollister, Rev. Harmon Stockdale, Congresswoman Slaughter’s staff members including Patricia Larke, Roberta Wilson, Katie Condello, John Kreckel, and local officials.

Total funding to construct the station included $23.4 million from the State Department of Transportation, $20.4 million in federal funding, and $500,000 from the City of Rochester.

The new exterior sign and dedication plaques unveiled today were designed and installed by local Rochester small business Premier Sign Systems, a full service sign and awning manufacturer & installer.

Known as “Louise” during her impressive career, Congresswoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter served her community in government for 47 years, as a member of the Monroe County Legislature (1976-1979), the New York State Assembly (1982-1986), and the U.S. House of Representatives (1987-2018).  Louise was a prominent leader in Congress on issues pertaining to science and medical research and in 2007, became the first woman in American history to chair the powerful House Committee on Rules. Rep. Slaughter authored the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) which prohibits genetic discrimination by health insurers and employers.  She also co-authored the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which bans insider trading by government employees, members of Congress and the President and was considered one of the most important ethics reforms in a generation.