A dedicated activist who advocated for New Bedford’s neighborhoods, Loretta Bourque (1920-2018) was referred to as “Mayor of the South End” for her special commitment to this section of the city. Through the Cove Street Neighborhood Association, Loretta led efforts against such problems as negligent absentee landlords, crime and drugs. Loretta’s influence was a key factor that led the New Bedford City Council to pass the city’s Problem Properties Ordinance.
When Nora Ouimette (1909-1987) was born in New Bedford, women could not vote! By the time of her death, she had voted in every election she was eligible for, become a labor union organizer, run for Congress and become one of the first female industrial engineers in companies on both the East and West Coasts.