The Year of the Woman, Rapinoe, Thunberg & Pelosi
Women were the driving force that allowed Democrats to recapture the House of Representatives in November of 2018, and in January they helped elect Nancy Pelosi as their Speaker. A record 102 women served in the House this year, comprising 23.4% of its voting members. More than a third of those women  served for the first time in 2019. And they have played a large role in one of the most productive House sessions in history, passing bipartisan legislation to protect "Dreamers", lower prescription drug prices, enact election reform, protect people with preexisting conditions, support NATO, and enhance criminal background checks for gun purchases, among hundreds of others.
Mitch McConnell has bottled up many of those bills in the Senate, but it's a good reminder of what Congress can accomplish if it's focused on doing the people's business. And, the glue that held House Democrats together, and even enlisted the support of some House Republicans, was Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi: The Speaker of the House had a good year. Pelosi began the year by facing down the President in an Oval Office meeting and ended it with his impeachment. In between, she held her caucus together to pass important legislation while fending off [with style] constant attacks from Donald Trump, who has been fixated on her for months. She was the right person to lead the House at this critical juncture in American history.
The Guardian: “She is, thank God, the exact right person in the right place at the right time,” said Leon Panetta, a former defense secretary and CIA director and a California native who’s known Pelosi for decades. “I’m not sure anybody else would have had the experience or capability to be able to do what she has done.” ...
... "In the last year, Pelosi has guided her factious congressional caucus through the choppy waters of Trump’s presidency. Like a political grandmaster of three-dimensional chess she quelled an insurrection to reclaim the gavel, engineered the end of the longest government shutdown in US history, and impeached the president, all while averting another shutdown and negotiating with the White House on a trade deal with Canada and Mexico."
Fortune: ... "Says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University: “She’s a constant reminder that women are tough enough and strong enough to lead at the highest levels.”
Pelosi isn't the only woman that will be remembered for her strength in 2019, nor the only one to make important political statements.
Megan Rapinoe: Megan Rapinoe led the US Women's soccer team to victory in the World Cup in 2019 and was named the team's MVP. She will also be remembered for her outspoken support for Colin Kaepernick, equal pay and LGBT rights, and, of course, her feuds with Donald Trump.
Washington Post: "Since then, she has become increasingly active and feuded publicly with President Trump, declaring that she would not visit him in the White House after the U.S. team repeated as World Cup champion last summer. Rapinoe has also championed LBGTQ rights as well as joining the U.S. team in its lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay."
And, on December 9th she was voted 2019's "Sportsperson of the Year" by Sports Illustrated.
Sports Illustrated: "Playing the world’s game, on the world’s stage, under attack by a world leader, she dominated. And in doing so without fear, Megan Rapinoe became a voice for so many across the world."
Greta Thunberg: 2019 might very well be remembered as the year that a young Swedish climate activist changed the world. Greta Thunberg has become a rock star among environmentalists, a force to be reckoned with, because she speaks truth to the powerful forces that seek to obfuscate the climate crisis that threatens to wreak havoc in the coming decades. Her voice, her message, might be the spark that ignites a new global environmental movement in the 2020s. And, for her efforts, Time Magazine named her their "Person of the Year." It's a richly deserved award.
Time: "Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: “School Strike for Climate.” In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the U.N., met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history. Her image has been celebrated in murals and Halloween costumes, and her name has been attached to everything from bike shares to beetles. Margaret Atwood compared her to Joan of Arc. After noticing a hundredfold increase in its usage, lexicographers at Collins Dictionary named Thunberg’s pioneering idea, climate strike, the word of the year."
These three women deserve our thanks and deep respect. All three suffered repeated attacks by Donald Trump and conservative media outlets throughout the year, proof that they stood for something more enduring than short-term political or personal gain.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content