U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) released the following statement after Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) announced her retirement at the end of her current term, following over 30 years of representing California in the U.S. Senate:
“You can’t tell the story of California politics—or the story of American politics—without the trailblazing career of Dianne Feinstein. For five decades, California has been privileged to have as gifted, as dedicated, and as iconic a public servant as my colleague.
“From her early days in San Francisco City Hall helping bring together and heal a wounded city after the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk, to her election as the first woman to represent California in the U.S. Senate, in the face of violence, stifling misogyny, and great personal loss, she broke down barriers and created a government that better represented the people—and the spirit—of California.
“Her selfless service and unrivaled grit and persistence have given our state so many treasures that many Californians now take for granted, from Joshua Tree National Park, to the clear blue water of Lake Tahoe, to the thriving redwoods north of San Francisco Bay and the wetlands that surround it. And because of her leadership against all of the odds, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban saved countless lives and made our country safer in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“On a personal note, Dianne gave me one of my first jobs in politics as a young MIT grad looking to make a difference in my community. She was the embodiment of principled leadership and taking on the difficult issues, and it’s in part because of her groundbreaking career that a Latino son of immigrants could one day join her in breaking down barriers and serving alongside her.
“I’ll truly miss her leadership and her counsel in the U.S. Senate. But the legacy she leaves behind will be carried on by the 40 million Californians who now see their government—and their country—differently because of her service.
“Thank you, Senator Feinstein.”