“It would be impossible to write the history of California politics, it would be impossible to write the history of American politics without acknowledging the trailblazing career of Sen. Dianne Feinstein,” Politico quotes former Dianne Feinstein staffer and Senator Alex Padilla. Feinstein always showed an affinity for politics, going back to her university days at Stanford when she was vice president for its student body. The daughter of a prominent surgeon and University of California professor, Leon Goldman, Feinstein was in a position to not just have opinions, but do something about them for the greater good. And so, after graduating in 1955 with a B.S. in history, she worked at the California district attorney’s office. This segued into a career in politics when Californian Governor Edmund Brown appointed her to the Board of Trust of the California Institution for Women, which oversaw women’s prison sentences and parole conditions.
After two unsuccessful mayoral vies in San Francisco, the tragic 1978 death of Mayor Harvey Milk — the state’s first openly gay government official — provided Feinstein with the path she needed to become mayor and eventually senator in 1992. In that role, Feinstein was a relentless advocate for a sensible, tempered approach to countless issues. Aside from protecting California’s natural lands, The Cut defines gun control, civil rights, and abortion rights as some of Feinstein’s standout concerns.