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L'italoamericana Nancy Pelosi eletta Speaker

Prima donna e prima italoamericana ad occupare la terza carica dello stato a «due battiti di cuore dalla presidenza» (lo Speaker è secondo nella linea di successione dopo il vice presidente), Nancy Pelosi ieri ha fatto storia, con la nomina a una carica destinata da sempre ad un uomo. «Madam speaker» è madre di cinque figli, nonna di altrettanti nipoti con un sesto in dirittura d'arrivo. Nancy ha respirato politica fin dalla nascita nella Little Italy di Baltimora, la città del Maryland che suo padre Tommy D'Alesandro, ligure di origine, aveva rappresentato alla Camera per 5 mandati e di cui era stato sindaco. Ma oltre a Tommy D'Alesandro, era stata Annunciata (Nancy), la madre di origini napoletane e una femminista ante-litteram che aveva abbandonato gli studi di legge per fare la mamma, a esercitare una profonda influenza sulle scelte di vita della figlia.
Nancy vinse il primo seggio nel 1967.
Erano dodici anni che i repubblicani controllavano l'agenda della Camera e Nancy, che per quasi vent'anni ha rappresentato da deputata il bastione liberal di San Francisco, potrebbe essere una vera e propria rivoluzione.

Early life and career

Pelosi was born Nancy D'Alesandro to Italian American parents in Baltimore, Maryland. She was involved in politics at an early age. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., was a U.S. Congressman from Maryland and a Mayor of Baltimore. While he was Mayor, Nancy helped him maintain a ledger of political favors owed or performed.
Pelosi graduated from Baltimore's Institute of Notre Dame high school and from Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University) in Washington, D.C. in 1962, where she met Paul Pelosi. When the couple married, they moved to his hometown of San Francisco, where his brother was a member of the city's board of supervisors (San Francisco city and county council).
Once the youngest of their five children became a senior in high school, Nancy Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics to become party chairwoman for Northern California, and joined forces with one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton.
Pelosi is an honorary board member of the National Organization of Italian American Women.


Pelosi has five children: Nancy Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul and Alexandra. Alexandra covered the Republican presidential campaigns in 2000 and made a movie about the experience, Journeys with George. She also covered the campaigns in 2004 and wrote a book on it.
The Pelosi family has a net worth of over $25 million, mainly from Paul's investments. Besides a large portfolio of jointly owned San Francisco Bay Area real estate, he also has millions of dollars worth of shares in publicly traded companies such as Microsoft, and AT&T.[4] In 2003, the Pelosi family sold their 8 acre Rutherford vineyard.

Congressional career

When Phillip Burton died in 1983, his wife Sala won a special election to complete his term. When she became ill with cancer, she suggested that Pelosi run for her seat in 1988. Sala Burton died on February 1, 1987, just a month after being sworn in for a second full term. Pelosi won in a special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating left wing San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, and took office on June 2, 1987. She was elected to a full term in 1988 and has been reelected eight times, often with more than 70% of the vote. The 8th is one of the safest Democratic districts in the country; Democrats have held the seat since 1949. Pelosi has never faced a credible Republican opponent, which is not surprising since Republicans only make up 13 percent of registered voters in the district. Since defeating Britt, she has never participated in a candidates’ debate.[5]
After the Tiananmen protests of 1989, Pelosi became a supporter of the Chinese democracy movement and a vocal critic of the government of the People's Republic of China, sponsoring the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992.
In the House, she served on the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, and spent much time raising funds for other members. She was the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee for two years.
As of the 2006 mid-term elections, Representative Pelosi appears poised to become the United State's first woman Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Democratic Party leadership

In 2001, she was elected the House Minority Whip, second-in-command to Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri, becoming the first woman in U.S. history to reach that position. Since then, she has campaigned for candidates in 30 states and in 90 Congressional districts, garnering support for her further climb to the top.
In 2002, after Gephardt resigned as minority leader to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election, Pelosi was elected to replace him, the first woman party leader in the House.

Political Record and Platforms


Pelosi has a long record of being Pro-Choice. Since 1995 she has consistently voted against challenges to the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the landmark abortion case of Roe vs. Wade. The California legislature passed the California Therapeutic Abortion Act in 1967 that was signed into law by then California Governor Ronald Reagan. This California law is the root of Nancy Pelosi's support for access to abortion for all citizens of the United States. California law and courts support abortion funding by the Government and this is the main reason for her support of abortion funding for all citizens of the the United States. Raised a Catholic, she has said that she will continue to ask for communion despite some Catholic bishops refusing communion to those who support abortion. Some Pro-life activists have called for her to be denied communion.

Crimes against Pregnant women and/or a Fetus

Nancy Pelosi opened herself to criticism when she voted for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2001, legislation that made it a federal crime to commit violence against a pregnant woman that interrupts or terminates her pregnancy. In 2004, Pelosi voted against the measure when it was reintroduced with a new definition of a violent attack on a pregnant woman as two distinct crimes: one against the woman herself, and the other against her unborn fetus. Pelosi is also a consistent "yes" vote for both federal funding of abortion facilities and of financial aid to such organizations.


Pelosi has a reputation of being generally supportive of agriculture.However, agriculture is not a large factor in her district. One of her votes that was most criticized by the agriculture industry was against the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, a continuation of a 1996 bill, signed into law by President Clinton that continued subsidies to small farmers.

Budget and taxes

Pelosi supports federal funding of government programs with tax increases when necessary.She has supported many bills which would increase assistance to the poor and disadvantaged while increasing taxes on higher wage earners. Pelosi has also voted against repealing the Estate Tax. She has been an outspoken supporter of a balanced budget, though she voted against the 1995 Balanced Budget Proposed Constitutional Amendment.

Civil liberties

Pelosi has consistently favored general civil liberties and First Amendment rights.[13] She has been steadfast in voting for freedom of speech including voting against laws banning flag-burning. She has voted and been a strong supporter of the separation of church and state. She has also been an opponent of the Federal Marriage Amendment.