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Nancy Pelosi Announces She’s Stepping Down From Party Leadership

Speaker Nancy Pelosi wears a shamrock pin

After a long and storied career, for good and ill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is stepping down. She will continue to represent her district in San Francisco, although it would seem that her larger role as a Democratic leader is finally coming to an end.

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And what a role she has filled. Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker was at once historic and highly controversial. Often, she weathered infighting within her own party by simply ignoring it, and choosing to focus on odd gestures of goodwill that didn’t seem to do much beyond surface-level platitudes. Beyond those platitudes, Pelosi was often the source of much frustration from left-leaning Americans who took issue with some of her takes and beliefs, the likes of which were more harmful than she seemed to realize. But the loudest criticisms thrown her way were, predictably, of a chauvinistic and often violent nature. As the first woman elected Speaker in a country that still attempts to operate on patriarchal ideals, this was, unfortunately, to be expected.

Yet even as a staunch critic of the current Democratic party, I believe there is something to be said about her performance as Speaker. This tweet highlighted a recent notable occurrence:

That said, yes, it is time for these older members of either party to step down and allow new faces to shape our political landscape. This is kind of the perfect time for her to do so, after such a successful midterm election, and I can only imagine how relieving it will be to move back home and be with her family again after all they’ve been through.

The new Speaker is slated to be 52-year-old Hakeem Jeffries, who currently represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York. As with any Democratic nominee, I’m steeling myself for some heartbreak and empty promises, but overall I think this will be a good change for the party. Not only is Jeffries at an age where wisdom and experience blend beautifully into practicality, but he was also one of the foremost advocates for proper healthcare during NYC’s initial outbreak of COVID-19. He was also personally selected by Pelosi as part of the House Impeachment Committee—so, hopefully, he’ll continue her efforts to hold Trump accountable, now more than ever.

As far as the future of the Democratic party without Pelosi, it’s hard to say in times like these. I think it’s very easy to focus on the negatives and see how much needs to be done versus what actually gets done, and then draw conclusions based on that. But while I think this change needed to happen yesterday, and the yesterday before that, I do hope that Pelosi and her family are able to rest peaceably now. And I hope her iconic sense of humor stays with the party regardless.

(Featured Image: Kevin Dietsch/Staff)

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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).

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