By Melanie Nathan, September 29, 2023
Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of the U.S. Senate and the longest-serving senator from California, has died at age 90.
Feinstein’s death leaves vacant her powerful Senate seat, requiring Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint a temporary successor.
The Democratic senator’s decades-long career was studded with major legislative achievements on issues including gun control and the environment.
On a Personal Note By Melanie Nathan:
For me, the passing of my hero Senator Dianne Feinstein is deeply personal. Her age does not mitigate the loss. She did so much for our LGBTQ community and she also did much for me personally as a constituent - when I asked. Her passing is such a huge loss for us. I feel like she gave me much of my American life. I felt safe, knowing she was our senator. May G-d bless her soul - may she rest in peace￼. May her family, the Democratic Party and all who loved her heal from this loss. She will be so sorely missed. I am re-posting below an article I wrote back in 2018 about #SenatorFeinstein. I am so so very proud to have known her -
Many people will be writing about her work as a political giant. For me, I want to keep it personal to watch she did for me as a constituent.
In 2009 I advocated for a private bill to prevent the deportation of Shirley Tan - we were asking for the impossible. Many said she would not do it and that we were wasting our time. They were wrong she cared deeply, and she introduced that private bill for one person into the US Congress.
When I was stuck in Vietnam during our adoption of baby Hannah, and unable to bring my baby back to the United States, Senator Feinstein rescued us, and today that beautiful baby is 26 and thriving in New York City.
Then when I asked, she helped unlock the complication so that my ex-wife and my baby would not be sent back to my exes country of origin. She helped ensure that justifiable green card. We were a same-sex couple and it was not popular at that time.
And then in 2014 when I was honored as community grand marshal for San Francisco Pride, Senator Feinstein agreed to support Africa’s LGBTQI community by writing to United Stares embassies in in Uganda, South Africa, Cameroon, and Zambia in support of visas for over 20 LGBTQI people to come to march with me in San Francisco in my contingency.
Senator Feinstein ran the most incredibly efficient senatorial office. She truly cared about her constituents and was available in the most difficult circumstances. She was a warrior for justice and equality. I am not sure California will experience such extraordinary representation and dedication ever again.
I cannot begin to express the loss. My condolences to her family, and all who loved her. My sympathy to leader, Nancy Pelosi, and the entire democratic party. May she rest in the arms of Hashem.
May Senator Feinstein’s memory be a blessing.
ברוך אתה יה אלוהינו מלך העולם, דיין האמת