This month’s bio is about a woman with courage and perseverance who helped the country survive the recession that began in 2005 when the financial markets and big business threatened to bring down the U.S. economy. You probably realize that this woman is Nancy Pelosi, Majority Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who is now facing a family crisis because her husband was assaulted by a man who broke into his home on Friday, October 28th, looking for Nancy.
Nancy and other members of Congress have been threatened numerous times, which is an indication of the division and violence that have enveloped our county and been fueled by veiled comments that encourage violent people to take action such as the tweet about “firing Pelosi” by Rep. Tom Emmer (Minnesota) just a few days before Paul Pelosi was attacked. Emmer’s tweet showed him firing a gun with a message about exercising his Second Amendment rights and “firing Nancy.”
Nancy does not back down from conflict, and she does not give up. In spite of the threats against her life since Donald Trump was president, Nancy has persisted in telling the truth and attempting to hold Trump accountable with two impeachment trials.
Many people think that Nancy entered politics as a housewife with relatively little experience and knowledge of the political process, but they don’t know her family background. Even though she has represented California’s 12th congressional district since 1987, she learned about politics from her mother and father when she was a child. Her father was mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, and Nancy, the youngest of seven children, helped with campaign events and was in charge of keeping track of people who called her father’s house with concerns.
After graduating from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., with a major in political science. Nancy was an intern for Senator Daniel Brewster from Maryland along with fellow intern Steny Hoyer, who later became the House Majority Leader. A year later, in 1962, Nancy married her college boyfriend, Paul Pelosi.
In 1969, Paul and Nancy moved to San Francisco where Paul’s brother served in the county government. As a busy mother of five children, Nancy continued to remain active in politics and volunteered for Congressman Philip Burton’s 5th District campaign. Her fundraising skill was recognized, and in 1976, she was elected as a Democratic National Committee member from California and held that position for 20 years. In 1982, she became head of the California Democratic Party and was well known for finding candidates and helping them get elected.
In 1987, Nancy ran for Philip Burton’s seat, following the death of Burton’s wife who had represented the district after her husband died in 1983. Nancy has managed to hold onto that seat since 1987 and has acquired a reputation as an astute politician. From the beginning, she attempted to unify both the liberal and conservative factions of her own party and negotiate with the opposing party. In 2002, she was elected minority leader, and the next year, she became the first Congressional woman to lead a party. After the midterm election in November 2006, Nancy was elected Speaker of the House for the 110th Congress.
While serving as Speaker of the House, Nancy has helped to ensure that the following became law: gun violence prevention measures such as background checks, services for veterans exposed to harmful chemicals while serving their country, stopping discriminatory lending practices, and stronger measures against hate crimes.
Under President Biden, Pelosi has led the House in instituting the American Rescue Plan, ensuring that vaccines were available for millions of Americans and providing assistance to needy families. Recently, Pelosi created a committee to investigate the attack on the Capitol, stating that “It is imperative that we seek the truth.” When Russia attacked Ukraine, Nancy organized actions to supply economic, security, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine while leading a bipartisan effort to hold Russia accountable with sanctions. Her negotiating skills also led to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included bringing down prescription drug costs, lowering healthcare premiums, instituting environmental protection actions, and paying down the federal deficit.
In a recent press conference, Nancy said that polls depict the nation as being split between the Democratic Party and Republican Party, but she believes the Democrats will keep the House. Nancy believes that anger over the Dobbs v. Jackson decision will bring many women to the polls.
It is evident that the nation can always count on Nancy Pelosi to tell the truth and do what is best for the country even when she is under attack from political foes. Scholar Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institute called Pelosi the “strongest and most effective speaker of modern times.”