Christine Pelosi, an attorney, published author and Democratic National Committee member, is the second daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
She praised her mother following the State of the Union address on February 5, 2019. Speaker Pelosi’s sarcastic-looking clap and smirk directed at President Trump quickly went viral and became a meme.
Christine Pelosi shared her amusement about the clap, writing on Twitter, “#waybackwednesday – oh yes that clap took me back to the teen years. She knows. And she knows that you know. And frankly she’s disappointed that you thought this would work. But here’s a clap. #youtriedit.” Her tweet received more than 68,000 likes and was retweeted more than 15,000 times.
Christine Pelosi followed her mother’s footsteps into the world of politics. She has been a member of the Democratic National Committee for more than 20 years.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Christine Pelosi Began Her Career at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office & Became a Prosecutor Before Working in the Clinton Administration
Christine Pelosi studied humanities and international affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. But she returned to the west coast to pursue her law degree. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1993.
Pelosi’s first job was in the San Francisco City Attorney’s office as a litigator. After two years, she became a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office. She is still licensed to practice law in California.
In 1999, Pelosi headed back east to serve in the Clinton administration. She was a Special Counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which was run by current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. During that time period, the Clinton administration substantially increased the department’s budget and implemented a strict “One Strike, You’re Out” policy to public housing. It stated that those convicted of a crime, including drug use, could be evicted. That policy was established before Pelosi began working in the department.
2. Christine Pelosi Has Been a Member of the Democratic National Committee in California Since 1996
Pelosi began working in the Capitol in 2001. She served as chief of staff to Rep. John F. Tierney of Massachusetts for nearly four years.
During this time frame, Pelosi had continued her work with the Democratic National Committee. She was first elected in California in 1996. She co-founded the DNC Veterans & Military Families Council in 1997 and has been on the Resolutions Committee since 2001. Pelosi’s campaign website states that as a member of the Resolution Committee, she has “co-authored dozens of DNC policy statements embracing civil rights, voting rights, economic justice, women’s equality, the Fight for 15, gun violence prevention, and veterans and military families.”
Pelosi became an Executive Committee Member in 2017. She also serves as the chair of the California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus. In January 2019, she shared several photos from a women’s march in Napa, California, writing in the caption, “Fierce and fabulous feminists know – ‘there’s no such thing as trickle down economics or trickle down democracy – women are building power from the ground up!'”
3. Pelosi Has Written Two Books on How to Operate a Successful Campaign & Runs Leadership Boot Camps
Christine Pelosi may not be a member of Congress, but she has experience coaching lawmakers on how to get there. She wrote, “Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders” in 2007. The book lays out a seven-step plan for managing a political campaign or advocate for a cause: Identify your call to service; Know your community; Build your leadership teams; Define your message; Connect with people; Raise the money; and Mobilize to win.
Pelosi told CSPAN in December 2007 that those looking to enter public service should focus on the causes they are most passionate about. She stressed that potential candidates need to identify their core issues and remember what they are fighting for because you’re going to be criticized along the way. Pelosi explained:
“If I could change the world with one bold stroke, what would I do? If I could dedicate parts of my life, my time, my energy, my money, my resources, my time away from family and vacations, to accomplish one goal, what would it be? That’s really your call to service…. go back to those essays that you wrote when you were applying to college or a scholarship or a job, look at what you said you wanted to do with an educational opportunity. That’s probably a part of your call to service. But fundamentally ask yourself, if you’re looking at public life, do I want to do something or do I want to be something? Do I really want to be there working on the issues working with people, having to reach across the aisle, having to work in coalitions, having to have my own work criticized by other people, work I really care about, that’s in my heart and soul? Am I ready for that? Or am I more attracted to public life because I like the trappings of being a campaigner or an elected official or an office holder in a nonprofit. I think it’s really essential to say, ‘what would I sacrifice my reputation for?'”
Pelosi’ advice includes thinking about the smallest details. For example, if a candidate is not a morning person, don’t schedule early interviews. She also stresses the importance of networking and building coalitions in order to build teams that can work together to further a cause.
Pelosi has a background teaching the elements of campaigning to candidates. She worked with the AFSCME PEOPLE/New House PAC Congressional Candidates Boot Camp. According to her bio on the California Institute of Integral Studies, Pelosi worked with about 100 candidates between 2006 and 2016, and that 26 of those people won seats in Congress.
Pelosi’s second book, “Campaign Boot Camp 2.0: Basic Training for Candidates, Staffers, Volunteers, and Nonprofits,” was published in 2012. In this edition, she included advice about how to effectively use social media on a campaign and discusses challenges for women candidates.
4. Pelosi is a Partner at an Advocacy Firm & Cofounder of the ‘We Said Enough’ Organization Dedicated to Ending Sexual Harassment & Discrimination in the Workplace
Pelosi is a partner at IMPACT based in San Francisco. As explained on its website, the firm provides services in “legal advocacy, statutory interpretation” and helps to build coalitions. IMPACT also holds “campaign boot camps” and plans digital and communication strategies.
In October of 2017, Pelosi cofounded the organization “We Said Enough” and serves as its general counsel. The non-profit organization was launched amid the MeToo movement, after more than 140 women working in politics in California signed a letter discussing experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace.
5. Christine Pelosi is Married With a Daughter & Stepson
Christine Pelosi tied the knot with her husband, film producer Peter Kaufman, in 2008.
He has a son from a previous marriage, named Octavio. The couple welcomed a baby girl named Isabella in 2009, nicknamed Bella.
Pelosi penned an open letter in 2017 about the need for quality health care and explained the struggle she had while pregnant with Bella as an example. She wrote that she had to fight with her medical insurer to convince them to cover a gestational diabetes test. “My experience made me all the more committed to fighting the good fight for universal healthcare, of which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a monumental cornerstone.”
It appears Bella is now getting an early start on political life. Pelosi shares many photos to Instagram of Bella on the political trail alongside her.
Family time includes trips to watch the San Francisco Giants. Pelosi wrote in 2016, “The one constant through all the years has always been baseball.”