A woman’s place is in the house—the House of Representatives.
Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California was officially elected the new House speaker on Thursday, an accomplishment that Know Your Value founder Mika Brzezinski called “a great moment for women.”
Pelosi is “an example and an inspiration for women of all ages,” Brzezinski said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The mother of five, grandmother of nine, wife and accomplished politician represents a “confident, accomplished, elegant warrior,” Brzezinski added.
“At 78 years old with decades of service behind her, Nancy Pelosi’s most important moments in her value and in her contributions to this country may be in the years to come as she goes head to head against Donald Trump,” Brzezinski said of Pelosi, who is now third in line to the presidency. “This is a moment for women.”
Pelosi initially served as the first female House speaker from 2007 to 2011. With this week’s win she’ll lead Democrats’ new majority, still as the only woman ever to have held the role as speaker.
Her reinstated role comes at a time when the 116th Congress—which marks the 100th year of women winning the right to vote—is the most diverse in U.S. history. New House members are breaking ground for women, as well as minority and LGBTQ representation.
For example, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, both Democrats, became the first and second Muslim women elected to Congress. Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, also Democrats, became the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Meanwhile, Massachusetts voters elected their first black congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer became two of the youngest women ever elected to Congress.
"We enter this new Congress with a sense of great hope and confidence for the future, and deep humility ... in the face of the challenges ahead," Pelosi said in remarks following her election. “Our nation is at an historic moment. Two months ago, the American people spoke, and demanded a new dawn. They called upon the beauty of our Constitution: our system of checks and balances that protects our democracy, remembering that the legislative branch is Article I: the first branch of government, co-equal to the president and judiciary.”
Brzezinski encouraged new legislators to take a page out of Pelosi’s playbook as they figure out how to navigate the nation’s capital.
“My only hope is that the dozens of newcomers to Washington, the record number of women who have the guts to step up, who ran for election and won, my hope is that they follow her [Pelosi’s] lead, work hard, be measured, learn from mistakes,” Brzezinski said.
Brzezinski also offered some important advice regarding the future: “Keep your eye on the woman with the gavel and follow her lead.”