In Profile: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
This week, WAND/WiLL recognizes the accomplishments of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. She is the Minority Leader of the House and the representative of California’s 8th district, based in San Francisco. Pelosi was first elected in 1987 in a special election following the death of Congresswoman Sala Burton, who supported Pelosi as her successor. In this left-leaning district, she has easily won every subsequent election and is able to contribute large amounts of her funds to other congressional campaigns.
Pelosi started out in politics as a congressional intern, and later as a leader in the Democratic Party in California. After her election to Congress, she began her ascent through the House as the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. Then in 2001, she became the first female House Minority Whip in American history. A year later, she was elected Minority Leader, which made her the first female leader of a major party in Congress. In 2007, Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House, becoming the first woman to hold this position as well. After Democrats lost control of the House in 2011, she returned to the position of Minority Leader.
Pelosi long opposed the war in Iraq, and in 2007 she condemned the plan to send more troops to Iraq. She has also encouraged peace in other ways. In 2008, she became the most high-ranking U.S. official to pay her respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Earlier in her career, she opposed U.S. participation in the Gulf War.
Pelosi has been a particularly strong advocate for women’s rights and gay rights. She has voted to abolish the global gag rule, which forbids any NGO receiving money from the U.S. government from providing abortions or referrals for abortions. She has also voted to allow deployed military women to receive abortions and voted against domestic restrictions on abortion. In addition, she has always campaigned for and voted to allow gay marriage.
WAND/WiLL is happy to acknowledge Congresswoman Pelosi’s leadership and her extraordinary progress in breaking through the glass ceiling.
-Hayley Anderson, Intern - Northeastern Class of 2015