In Profile: Senator Debbie Stabenow
This week, WAND/WiLL recognizes the accomplishments of Senator Debbie Stabenow. She serves as Senator for Michigan, and is the first woman to do so. Stabenow was first elected in 2000, when she and Maria Cantwell (WA) became the first women to defeat incumbent Senators in a general election. Before serving as a Senator, Stabenow served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1979 to 1990, where she became the first woman to preside over the House. She also served in the Michigan Senate from 1991 to 1994. In 1997, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Senator Stabenow is the first person since the nineteenth century to have served in both houses of the Michigan State Legislature as well as both houses of the U.S. Congress.
Stabenow has served as secretary of the Democratic caucus and as chair of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, both of which are very high-ranking positions within the party. She chairs the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy. She also participates in the Committee on the Budget, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Committee on Finance. She has previously served on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the Special Committee on Aging.
Stabenow has been a valuable advocate for issues relating to peace and women. She voted against the war in Iraq and encouraged its end. She has also shown her support for important women’s issues. On April 17th this year, Equal Pay Day, Stabenow made a statement to draw attention to the issue: “Everyone in our great country should have the confidence that they will be paid fairly for a hard day's work… In 2012, women had to work more than four extra months to get paid the same as men… It is critical that we continue the important work started in 2009 with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to make sure every American has the opportunity to earn a paycheck based on the job they do.”
WAND/WiLL is very proud of our long history with Senator Stabenow. In the eighties, Stabenow traveled to the USSR with a group of women state legislators that included a legislator from Massachusetts who helped found WiLL. Later, when Stabenow won her election for the U.S. Senate with WAND PAC’s support, WAND board chair Arlene Victor gave her a chair pin in celebration. The pin is shaped like a chair to symbolize women taking seats at the table of power. Stabenow went on to give Nancy Pelosi a chair pin, as she rose through the ranks in the House.
WAND/WiLL is happy to acknowledge Senator Stabenow’s achievements and her work advocating for both peace and women’s rights.
-Hayley Anderson, Intern - Northeastern Class of 2015