The First Female Majority Leader and Speaker: Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi is most well-known for being the Democratic Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as being the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Nancy Pelosi was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1940 last the last of six children. She attended and graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame a private Catholic high school and then attended Trinity College where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science. Nancy Pelosi proceeded to intern for Senator Daniel Brewster from Maryland.
During college, Nancy Pelosi had met Paul Pelosi, who she married in 1963. The couple then moved to New York and later to San Francisco, where she started her political career. Nancy Pelosi was elected into the Democratic National Committee in 1976 as a member, which she kept till 1996.
The next year, Nancy Pelosi was elected to be a party chair for Northern California. She was elected to be the Chair of the California Democratic Party from 1981 to 1983. After this, she sat on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as the finance chair, which she kept from 1985 to 1986.
In 1986 Sala Burton, the Representative of the 5th Congressional district of California, became very ill due to cancer and chose Nancy Pelosi to be her successor. Burton passed away a month into her second term and Nancy Pelosi took office the next week, after defeating both the special and general election candidates.
Nancy Pelosi won the Representative seat again in 1988 and since then has been reelected another 10 times, as the district is made up of a majority of Democrats. In the House of Representatives, she sat on the Committee for Appropriates and Intelligence until being elected as the Minority Leader.
In 2001, Nancy Pelosi was the first woman in the history of the U.S. to be elected to the House Minority Whip. In 2002, she replaced Dick Gephardt, the at the time Minority leader, to become the first female Minority Leader of in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Nancy Pelosi was then chosen in a unanimous decision by the members in the Democratic Party to be the next Democratic candidate for the Speaker of the House in November 2006. In the beginning of the next year, she was elected to be the Speaker of the House, making her the first woman to do so.
Some of Nancy Pelosi’s significant opinions include:
• Making a commitment to the education system by funding special education, strengthening schools and modernizing classrooms
• Supporting President Obama’s health care bill
• Protecting the environment and fighting climate change by investing in clean renewable energy, regulating oil speculators, and reducing transit fares
• Allowing women to make private medical choices about and providing reproductive health care
• Fighting against discrimination in work environments and having the laws reflect justice and equality