Tammy Duckworth is one of the standouts of the Democratic Party, so it makes sense that she was invited to speak at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Duckworth has long been one of the most inspiring figures not just in the Democratic Party but in any party.
Per Biography, Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and is of Chinese and British descent. As a teenager, she moved to Hawaii where she graduated from the University of Hawaii. She later earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and then earned a doctorate in human services from Capella University (per the Chicago Tribune).
Duckworth is also a veteran, and lost both her legs in the Iraq War in 2004, earning a Purple Heart. In 2006, she became the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and, in 2009, was appointed as the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by Barack Obama.
Tammy Duckworth has broken ground in politics
A few years later, Duckworth made history. In 2012, she was elected to Congress. Four years later, she became the first disabled woman to be elected as a U.S. senator, and only the second Asian American woman. Duckworth has worked hard to get where she is and is proud of her history. She told Vogue that she’s often asked to hide her wheelchair in pictures. “I say no!” she said. “I earned this wheelchair. It’s no different from a medal I wear on my chest. Why would I hide it?””
It’s easy to see why Joe Biden reportedly considered her for his running mate in the 2020 presidential election. While Biden eventually chose Kamala Harris, Duckworth doesn’t care about being vice president — she cares about working to create change.
“I want Joe Biden to get elected,” she told NPR. “I’ll play any position on his team that he thinks will help lead us out of the crises that we’re in, whether it’s the global pandemic, whether it’s our economy, whether it’s our foreign adversaries. You know, I really am very neutral as to what position I play. I just want to get him elected so that we can get this country back on track again.”
Tammy Duckworth is fighting for parents
Duckworth isn’t just a passionate politician, she’s also a mother trying to balance motherhood and her job. Duckworth — who was the first senator to give birth while in office — has long been vocal about the issues facing working moms. “I thought I could do it all,” she told Motherly on The Motherly Podcast. “I thought, you know, I’m a Congresswoman, I run my own office, I have my own schedule, I can make this work. Boy was I wrong.”
She continued, “We’re the only developed nation in the world that does not have a paid family leave policy. And I think it’s an economic detriment that we don’t have that. I think we’re competing with European nations and Asian nations that actually have this, and it makes us less competitive on a global scale to not have this for our workers.”
Duckworth is going to bat for parents. In 2019, she was one of the lawmakers to introduce the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act which “requires that certain public buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by members of the public to express milk.”
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