The Women Running for President in 2020, Nita Lowey Makes History, Anniversary of Parkland and Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Shirin Ebadi
The Women Running for President in 2020
By Natalie Wexler
Even though the 2018 midterm elections just wrapped up and the new congressional class was sworn in roughly a month ago and there is still 21 months until the 2020 Presidential Election, many people have announced their candidacy and quest to become President of the United States in 2020.
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Warren announced she had formed an exploratory committee on December 31st, 2018; an exploratory committee is a group of strategists a candidate assembles to help them determine if they should make a presidential run or not. Warren attended George Washington University but ended up graduating from the University of Houston with a BS before attending Rutgers Law School. She was elected to her first term as a Massachusetts Senator in 2012 and won her second term in 2018.
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Gabbard announced she is running for president on January 11th, 2019. Gabbard graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a BSBA. She is a member of the United States military and has held many Hawaii legislative positions; Gabbard has been serving in the US House of Representatives on behalf of Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.
Gillibrand announced she is running for president on the January 15th, 2019 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Gillibrand graduated with a BA from Dartmouth and got her law degree from UCLA. She formerly served in the House of Representatives and is now a New York Senator.
Kamala Harris (D)
Harris announced she is running for president on January 21st, 2019. Harris graduated with a BA from Howard University and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings. She is a former Attorney General for California and has been serving in the US Senate since 2016.
Williamson announced she was running for president on January 28th, 2019. Williamson attended Pomona College for two years before moving to New York in hopes of becoming a cabaret singer. Williamson is an author and seven of her books have been on The New York Times Bestsellers List.
As of February 7th, 2019 there are no female Republican or Third Party candidates that have filed exploratory committees or declared runs for the presidency.
New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey Makes History
By Chloe Cornell
New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey has become the first woman in history to chair the House Appropriations Committee. In this role, Lowey is in charge of deciding how America spends money, responsible for approximately $1.3 trillion every year. She has to review each bill that is presented in Congress.
Lowey is an 81-year old grandmother who has served as a U.S. Representative of New York since 1989. While Lowey has worked for 16 terms with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, she definitely faces a huge challenge now trying to find compromise on a spending deal that both parties and President Trump will approve, to prevent another partial government shutdown. However members from both parties have expressed faith in the veteran lawmakers ability to reach a compromise. “If she is left to deal with issues, she will solve them,” Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R. FL) said to the Wall Street Journal. The paper also reports that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) said Mrs. Lowey “sets the tone for whatever happens.” She has resolved contested funding issues before, and “I see no difference in her approach this time.”
Anniversary of Parkland – Where We Are On Gun Reform
By Paige Miller
On February 14, 2018 a gunman opened fire at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing seventeen students and staff members. As the anniversary approaches of the shooting, we have realized as a country that gun violence has impacted our lives too often. Everytown For Gun Safety, is a movement dedicated to end gun violence and build a better and safer community for all American citizens. One of their mottos that they follow is that whether you are Republican, or a Democrat we should all be able to bring our community together and be American. There have been new politicians that have embraced anti-gun violence acts over the past year. House speaker Nancy Pelosi states that it is time to pass a bill – instead of having a moment of silence, we need to take action. In the upcoming election, Democrats have made it their priority to pass an anti-gun violence bill, including deeper background checks. The world cannot change itself, we as humans need to take action in making the world stronger.
Spotlight on Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
By Ellie Zimmerman
Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer and activist, fights for justice for clients who have faced severe scrutiny from the corrupt Iranian political system. Fighting for human rights in a nation where those who say the wrong thing have a risk of being thrown into solitary confinement, and where women are not allowed to work or hold a passport without permission from their husbands, is bold and her fight has greatly been opposed. She has published over 70 articles and 13 books dedicated to various aspects of human rights, and in 2004, she was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. In an interview with The New York Times, Ebadi states part of her mission: “Human rights is a universal standard. It is a component of every religion and every civilization.” After earning a doctorates degree in law in Tehran, Ebadi became Iran’s first ever female judge, and in 1975, she became the first president of the Tehran city court. Due to the revolution of 1979 when the new Islamic republic prohibited women from becoming judges, Ebadi was quickly demoted to a secretarial position and lost her job as president of city court. Although a large roadblock, this did not stop Shirin Ebadi. Ebadi campaigned for several years to regain her legal career and in 1993, she was able to practice law again and opened her own practice. In a 2006 interview with Harry Kreisler, Ebadi explained her mentality during her fight, “I compare my situation to a person on board a ship. When there is a shipwreck the passenger then falls in the ocean and has no choice but to keep swimming. What happened in our society was that the laws overturned every right that women had. I had no choice. I could not get tired, I could not lose hope. I cannot afford to do that.” As a lawyer, Dr. Ebadi has taken on many controversial cases, defended political dissidents, and as a result has been arrested numerous times and even spent five years in prison. In 2016, Ebadi released a powerful and disturbing memoir titled “Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran.” Ebadi’s memoir includes depictions of how the Iranian government treats its own citizens, including herself, and her hopes of freedom of expression for Iranians and the rest of the world. Impressively, Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her work in promoting human rights in the face of difficult conditions. Ebadi was the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and only the fifth Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in any field. However, this award only increased chaos in her life and her fight against the Iranian government, causing her to be surveillanced, interrogated, detained, and threatened. Her own safety had become at risk, and her home was attacked by a mob. The human rights organization she created with the money from her Nobel Peace Prize was raided and shut down. The entirety of her staff was forced into hiding or prison. When she left the country to grow her cause, The government proceeded to take away and imprison Ebadi’s sister in the middle of the night and target her family in various other ways. At age 71, Shirin Ebadi continues her fight for human rights, specifically those of women, children, and international students. Despite now living in exile and on the Iranian official kill list for almost a decade, Dr. Ebadi remains committed to her mission of speaking out against human rights abuses and advocating for legal reforms in her country.