On September 29, 2023, a memorial service was held for California Senator Dianne Feinstein. At ninety years old, Feinstein led a rich and full life. She served as the first woman mayor from 1978 to 1988 and was the oldest active member of the senate. Throughout her political life, Feinstein made a name for herself arguing for gun control, abortion, and civil rights, spearheading the campaign to ban assault rifles. In total, Feinstein won six terms starting in 1992.
Feinstein was a self-proclaimed political centrist, and often changed her mind on controversial issues. She opposed same-sex marriage and voted for the death penalty, later changing her mind for both. However, most notable was her stance on terrorist attacks following 9/11. At first, Feinstein supported George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, yet later helped shut down a Cuban prison dedicated to the interrogation of terrorist suspects. Due to her central policies, Feinstein developed an independent voice and worked with both sides of the political spectrum.
Dianne’s first major political steps began with her work among the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, quickly becoming the Board’s first female president. During her time as the Board president, the tragic assassinations of the current San Francisco mayor and city supervisor occurred, in which Feinstein was named the temporary mayor. After leading the city through the somber times, she was officially voted in.
Recently, nearing the end of her 6th term as senator, Feinstein’s health started seriously declining. This led to her announcing that she would not seek re-election in 2024. By September 29th, the time of her death, Feinstein was the longest-tenured female senator in US history and the longest-serving senator from California.
All in all, Dianne Feinstein served as an incredibly influencial member of American political history, and will undoubtedly be remembered for her determination, accomplishments, and drive to better the country.