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Great Strides for Women and the Long Road Still Ahead: My Personal Views of an Inspiring Evening with the Honorable Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi

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Many civics-minded people dream of meeting and interacting with a former Speaker of the House of Representatives. And despite my profound respect for having risen to the top of her profession, if I am honest, I had not idolized Honorable Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi before meeting her a few weeks ago. But I do now.

Not only is Nancy Pelosi someone who has helped to lead our nation over the past few decades, she has also been an unwavering role model and champion for women and a fierce advocate for equality and fairness. But after having the great fortune to meet her and speak with her and hear her talk to a room full of community leaders, I am now a massive fan. Yes, I am duly impressed with her public service and government leadership track record; she blew me away when I learned she was a mother who raised five children before ever seeking public office. Blown away may be an understatement.

We were both attending the annual William O. Douglas Award gala for Public Counsel, the largest nonprofit public interest law firm in the country dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice and amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. I am the current Vice Chair and the incoming Chair, starting in October of this year. Nancy Pelosi was our distinguished honoree and the recipient of our prestigious Douglas Award, which is named after late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

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