First member of Congress born in Thailand. First Asian-American to represent Illinois in Congress. First Thai-American elected to the U.S. Senate, one of only 15 Asian-Americans to ever serve in Congress, and one of only 12 Women to have served in both chambers of Congress. One of the first of a handful of Women to fly combat missions. Retired Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of service. Veteran. Purple Heart recipient. First Woman double-amputee to serve in Congress. Advocate for fellow Soldiers, for Veterans’ access to housing, health care, job creation. First in the nation to establish a 24/7 Veterans crisis hotline. First to center the unique challenges faced by Women Veterans and Native American Veterans. First pregnant Senator. First Senator to give birth while in office. First to push for a vote changing Senate rules that did not allow children on the Senate floor.
Tireless advocate for individuals with disabilities, pushing for amendments in the bipartisan infrastructure bill ensuring public transit authorities receive grants for transportation accessibility projects.
Fearless partner of other trailblazers in Congress championing Women’s Rights to accessible and affordable Reproductive Rights, such as House Representative Lauren Underwood, successfully pushing for meaningful progressive legislation centering Maternal Healthcare.
Common-sense effective legislator with a proven track record pushing for provisions that cut waste and fraud at the Pentagon, throughout the government, and help prevent bureaucratic delays in infrastructure projects. Her latest provision is projected to save taxpayers $4 billion by reducing redundancy in the military. Her achievements are such that the Center for Effective Lawmaking recognizes her as one of the top five most effective Senators!
Meaningful Progress often comes from those who have spent a lifetime defying norms, white supremacy’s most stringent and punishing gender normative tenets. The most effective legislators are the ones who dare to pave untraveled roads, aiming to break glass ceilings, to break barriers, and then to lift up on their shoulders a new generation following in their footsteps. This is the story of an unconventional Trailblazer who always wanted to be of service, and at a moment where life attempted to break her, snuff her flame, she refused to give up and instead forced change by laying the groundwork for Women in Congress living with disabilities.
Have a great Wednesday, Politicadoes!