By Miriam Raftery
Photo, left, by Ron Logan: Senator Dianne Feinstein addressed California Democratic Convention in San Diego
September 29, 2023 (Washington D.C.) – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who represented California for over three decades and served as a trailblazer for women in politics, died last night at her home in Washington, D.C. Vaulted into the spotlight when dual assassinations elevated her to Mayor of San Francisco, she later became one of the most powerful women in America, chairing the Senate Intelligence Committee and serving as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She fought for women’s rights, gun control, and LGTBQ rights from AIDS funding to gay marriage. She led an investigation into CIA torture and demanded reforms, and once said the vote she most regretted was supporting the Iraq War initiated by President George W. Bush. She was, however, viewed as a political moderate,also supporting law and order measures, the death penalty, and a strong national defense.
Her staff issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter) calling the senior Democrat’s passing “a great loss for so many, from those who loved and cared for her to the people of California that she dedicated her life to serving. Senator Feinstein never backed away from a fight for what was just and right. At the same time, she was always willing to work with anyone, even those she disagreed with, if it meant bettering the lives of Californians or the betterment of our nation. There are few women who can be called senator, chairman, mayor, wife, mom and grandmother…She left a legacy that is undeniable and extraordinary.”
Feinstein cast her last vote, an effort to stop a government shutdown, yesterday morning. Despite failing health, she had pledged to complete her term of office, but had announced she would not seek reelection next year, opening the door for a new generation of leadership for California on Capitol Hill.