I recently read an article in the New York Times about New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s success in Congress this past session. The piece highlighted how much Gillibrand has accomplished since she joined the Senate in January 2009, when Gov. Patterson appointed her as junior senator to fill Hillary Clinton’s newly-vacated seat. Gillibrand was re-elected this past November, to fill the rest of Clinton’s term (ending Jan. 2013).
As the first senator from upstate New York in over 40 years, she is in a tough position, having to represent the views of both conservative, suburban upstate New York and innercity, liberal New York City (a drastic oversimplification of NY’s geography). Many of her views have changed since she has joined the Senate, evident from her work as a House representative and as special counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton adminsitration. In those positions, Gillibrand fought against gun control, and did not co-sponsor legislation to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Since joining the Senate however, Gillibrand has become much more liberal, and has had many successes, most notably working on the campaigns to repeal DADT and passing the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. She has been endorsed by many LGBTQ groups and publications, and one of her goals listed on her campaign site is to repeal the Definition of Marriage Act which stands in the way of gay marriage coming into law. Gillibrand has also been an enormously strong advocate for women’s reproductive rights, and received strong support from Planned Parenthood in the 2010 election.
I admire the work Gillibrand is doing, and enjoy her monthly e-mails. So, consider this a shoutout.