Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are remembering the life and legacy of U.S. Senator of California, Dianne Feinstein, who passed away on Thursday at 90.
Rep. Glenn Ivy, D-Md., told theGrio that Feinstein was a “gigantic figure here in Washington D.C. and in California.”
“I know she came to Washington D.C. under very difficult circumstances after the assassination of the San Francisco mayor [George Moscone],” he said. “Gun violence was a key issue for her all the way through, and she was an outstanding leader on that issue.”
A statement released from Feinstein’s office stated that she “passed last night at her home in Washington, D.C.”
“There are few women who can be called senator, chairman, mayor, wife, mom and grandmother. Senator Feinstein was a force of nature who made an incredible impact on our country and her home state,” the statement continued.
Feinstein was elected to the Senate in 1992 and was a force who advocated for gun laws and reproductive rights up until her passing.
Earlier this year, she struggled with shingles and was absent from her seat for more than two months. She returned to her post in May and was limited in her capacity. The first woman ever elected to the Senate from the state of California had to use a wheelchair and did not regularly participate in voting.
Although Feinstein struggled in her latter days while serving in Congress, many members of the CBC remember her as someone who went against the grain to make a difference for her constituents and the nation.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., told theGrio, “Thank you and rest in peace. That’s my message to her and to her family.”
“She was a trailblazer who set the bar high for all of the women who came behind her,” he said.
Johnson added, “The nation owes her a tremendous debt of gratitude. Her work [as it pertains to] trailblazing for women is unparalleled.”
Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., the youngest member of Congress, told theGrio, “It’s really sad.”
“She was a champion of the assault rifles ban. We want to make sure we build off of that work to pass it here, but it’s always sad to lose a life,” said the 26-year-old.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., tweeted, “@SenFeinstein was a history maker whose leadership on women’s equality, gun violence prevention, LGBTQ+ rights, and more has helped us build a more just & equitable nation.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of her transition and I am keeping her loved ones & staff in my prayers,” she added.
During a press conference on Friday, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., called Sen. Feinstein an “icon” and “giant.”
“So thankful for her life and her legacy and all that she did to make life better for the countless individuals in her beloved state of California, all across the country, and as someone who evolved as a force for good across the world,” he said.
TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also,please download theGrio mobile apps today!