What's on Our Mind - Remembering Sen. Dianne Feinstein 9-29-2023

Remembering Sen. Dianne Feinstein (z''l)
Despite her power and position, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was gracious and warm when she welcomed JAC into her home during our 2008 Washington, DC policy conference. However, when it came to the issues she cared deeply about, she had a serious and no-nonsense approach. JAC always felt privileged to meet with her to discuss the issues we both shared. 
During her years in the Senate, she championed women’s issues, the environment, and many other issues. One of her most memorable legislative achievements was the assault weapons ban, which was signed into law in 1994. In the decade following its passage, until the law expired, her bill was responsible for saving lives in this country.
Reinstating the assault weapons ban after it expired became her personal mission. She tirelessly met with her colleagues to garner support for the bill. Unfortunately, the political landscape has changed drastically in the years since the bill received wide bipartisan support. Today, the GOP is more beholden than ever to the NRA, even as mass shootings happen every day in our country.
The Senate is now highly partisan, to the detriment of our country. The collegial world of Sen. Feinstein’s early days can barely be found on Capitol Hill. The nation awaits a looming government shutdown because the GOP refuses to abandon their extreme political agenda to help Americans.
Feinstein began her Senate career in 1992, stepping into a man’s world that was less than hospitable to female members. Yet over the years, she earned the respect and friendship of her male colleagues—even those in the GOP.
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife had been friends with Feinstein and her late husband for three decades. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said he valued their friendship, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said she always treated everyone with courtesy and respect.
Ultimately, it’s not just about our political differences, but also the human connection. Sen. Feinstein left an indelible mark on Congress and our nation with her legislative as well as her personal contributions. She will be missed.