Permanent Massachusetts resident or not, it’s likely that you know Elizabeth Warren’s name by now. She’s currently the senior US senator from Massachusetts and is a very prominent figure in the Democratic Party. There’s even talk that she might put in a bid for the presidency in 2020. And for many Emerson students who lean to the political left, the possibility of Elizabeth Warren becoming president in four years is the hope they need right now.
Having grown up in Massachusetts, I have watched Warren rise from a Senate hopeful to a leading voice among the country’s Democrats. Though I might be biased given my political party of choice (hint: I love the color blue), Warren’s journey has undoubtedly been an incredible one. I’m glad to have witnessed it firsthand as a Massachusetts resident.
Elizabeth Warren had her beginnings in law. This eventually led to her teaching law at several universities throughout the country, most notably at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School. Her great success came despite attending law school at a public university, Rutgers University, in New Jersey.
Warren first announced her candidacy for the US Senate in 2011. She then successful challenged the incumbent Scott Brown and won the general election on November 6, 2012. Warren’s victory was not one she celebrated alone. As the first female senator from Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren made history. I can remember Warren being elected. I was fifteen and had yet to develop an interest in politics. But even then, I knew I was watching something special. Personally, Warren has yet to disappoint me.
Since becoming a senator, Warren has become a central figure in US Politics. Recently, she made headlines after giving a speech, protesting Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ appointment. Warren was silenced by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after he “invoked an obscure rule of decorum called Rule XIX, which prohibits any senator from ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator” during debate.” Her offense? Reading a letter from 1986 by Coretta Scott King, which criticized Sessions’ civil rights record.
The further explanation McConnell gave as to what happened with Warren only backfired for him. He said of Warren, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Naturally, this statement bore a catchy feminist slogan. Warren’s supporters rallied around the phrase ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ and donation money began to flood into the DCCC and to organizations supporting women’s rights. An Emerson alumni even started a t-shirt campaign using the slogan, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. And yes, I purchased one of those said t-shirts. As of March 9, according to this article from Boston Magazine, Democrats have raised $767,000 off the ‘Nevertheless’ slogan alone.
Last summer, I had the privilege to see Warren speak on income inequality, basing much of her presentation on her own experiences growing up in a blue-collar, middle-class family. With economic injustice being such a dire problem, it was great to see Warren taking a stand and educating others on the issue. Though I certainly can’t speak for all Massachusetts residents or Emerson students, I have to say I’m proud to have Warren as my senator. With that being said, I understand that not everyone holds the same beliefs as me. But for those Emersonians who do resonate with Warren, I think it’s nice to be reminded of the presence she commands in US politics.