Friday, May 10, 2019

Gillibrand: "I find that when you open the door toward openness and transparency, a lot of people will follow you through"

Metamora Herald, Presidential Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand
By Rebecca Hammel, U.S. Senate Photographic Studio official photo for 112th Congress 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced in March 2019 that she wants to run for president in 2020, but what do we know about her? She is an attorney, she won her elections in complicated areas, she is one of the first Senators from NY to be on the Senate Agriculture Committee in almost 40 years, and she has led a crusade for environmental cleanup and holding the companies who caused a need for the cleanup accountable. Here is a small peek into her past.

Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik Gillibrand was born on December 9, 1966, in Albany, New York, the daughter of Polly and Douglas Rutnik. Both her parents are attorneys, and her father has also worked as a lobbyist. Gillibrand has an older brother, Douglas, and a younger sister, Erin Rutnik Tschantret, and she has English, Austrian, Scottish, German, and Irish ancestry. Her maternal grandmother was Dorothea "Polly" Noonan, a founder of the Albany Democratic Women's Club, a one-time leader in the City of Albany's 20th-century Democratic machine. [1] (From her grandmother and mother being active in politics she was inspired and wanted to become more involved in politics.) Kirsten resides in Brunswick, NY with her husband, Jonathan; their two sons, Theo and Henry; and their labradoodle, Maple.[2]

 In 1984, she graduated from Emma Willard School(NY), an all women's private high school, and then she enrolled at Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth, she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated magna cum laude in 1988. Gillibrand majored in Asian Studies, studying in both Beijing and Taiwan. While in Beijing, she studied and lived with actress Connie Britton. Also during college, Gillibrand interned at Republican U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato's Albany office. Gillibrand received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and passed the bar exam in 1991.[1]

Senator Gillibrand worked as an attorney for over a decade. One of the last positions she held before running for House of Representatives she was Special Counsel to United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo during the Clinton Administration.[1] During her time there, Kirsten worked at private law firms which allowed her to take on pro bono cases defending abused women and their children and tenants seeking safe housing after lead paint and unsafe conditions were found in their homes.[1]

She is also a champion of the LBGTQ rights fighting for their rights to serve in the military. She has been fighting for rights of sexual assault victims on college campuses and in the military. Kirsten cares about working families and making things more affordable like childcare and voting for paid family leave. Senator Gillibrand believes in government transparency and is one of the first representatives in government to publish her official schedule, listing everyone she met with on any day of the week. She is also a part of the Blue Dog Coalition, voted to not fund sanctuary cities, and has a 100% rating from the NRA. If you would like to learn more about this candidate visit :


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