Senator Dianne Feinstein

#womenshistoryProfilesFebruary 27, 2023

Elected in 1992, Dianne Feinstein is the longest-serving woman in the Senate, with a long history of legislative achievements. Over her 30 years of service, Feinstein’s advocacy has shaped law and policy in the arena of national security, criminal law, immigration, health care, and more.

A Californian by birth, Feinstein began her political career in 1969 when elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She was also appointed as San Francisco’s first woman mayor following the tragic assassinations of Mayor Goerge Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

In an political era dominated by gendered politics, Feinstein was reelected five times, with a record-breaking vote in 2012 in which she received the most popular votes — 7.75 million — in any U.S. Senate election in history.

Her ability to find common-sense solutions to the nation’s complex problems gave her an edge in the Senate. Throughout her tenure, Feinstein worked across the aisle on many issues like infrastructure improvements, fuel efficiency for personal vehicles, national security, and cyber security.

She was the first woman to chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a position she held for six years while passing as many authorization bills in that time.

Feinstein has also been a leading, vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, including gay marriage. She also spearheaded the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that lasted two decades, which prohibited the sale and manufacturing and import of military-style assault weapons.

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