Rose Queen Adds Title: Senate District’s Woman of the Year

Louise Siskel
Louise Siskel

For her reign as the 2019 Rose Queen — a platform she has proudly used to promote women and girls seeking paths to science and technology careers and encouraged them to be their own kind of princess — San Marino’s Louise Siskel was named woman of the year for the 25th State Senate District.
State Sen. Anthony Portantino announced his selection last week, citing Siskel’s leadership on the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Royal Court and the “heartfelt” Los Angeles Times op-ed in which she reflected on the gradual change in Tournament tradition and said she felt the responsibility “to share that I am bisexual.”
“He called me a couple of weeks ago, and I was thrilled to hear the news,” Siskel said in a phone interview.
Siskel will be honored in a March 4 ceremony in Sacramento, alongside other women selected in their districts.
“She has distinguished herself as an amazing leader, not just displaying poise while the entire world watched her in the Rose Parade but through her trailblazing leadership,” Portantino said in his announcement. “She embraced the responsibility of being selected Rose Queen with a bold civic agenda, impressed everyone who has encountered her during this past year and exemplified intelligence, confidence and maturity.”
Portantino added that through Siskel’s actions, “young women in the LGBTQ and Jewish communities have a new and dynamic role model.
In addition, something as simple and commonplace as wearing glasses took on greater cultural significance in the year 2019.”
Siskel, whose work as Rose Queen is all but over, said her bottom-line goal was to encourage her fans to become more engaged in their communities and to fight for what they believe in.
“It was important to me throughout the entire Rose Court experience that I use the platform I was given to make an impact in the community,” she added. “Since the op-ed was an opportunity for me to create a cohesive statement of what I believe in, I used it as an opportunity to explain what the [Rose Court] tradition means to me.”
Siskel is a senior at Sequoyah High School in Pasadena and plans to attend the University of Chicago, where she will apply experiences conducting breast cancer research and experiments through a NASA competition toward a degree in the sciences.
However, she will also always remain a Rose Queen.
“Once you’re on the court, you’re a part of it for life,” Siskel said. “We’ll come back every year and stay engaged with the organization.”

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