Washington, DC–Below is a statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran on the passing of Senator Dianne Feinstein. Senator Feinstein was a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors during her tenure as Mayor of San Francisco (1978 – 1988).

“Today we remember ‘Mayor’ Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“When San Francisco Mayor George Moscone’s assassination rocked the nation and our organization, she stood brave and resolute to lead San Francisco. The first woman mayor of San Francisco, she went on to serve two full terms and was an active leader within the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“Having worked with her for decades, two leadership moments stand out. As mayor, she pushed the U.S. Conference of Mayors to speak openly for those dying during the HIV AIDS epidemic. Working with Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and her Director of Health, Dr. Mervyn Silverman, Mayor Feinstein led our mayoral advocacy and saved lives.

“The second was her tenacity and unwavering advocacy to ban assault weapons in 1994. She penned the legislation and we worked under her leadership alongside Senator Joe Biden and President Clinton to pass an historic 10-year ban.

“In 2013, Senator Feinstein stood up again to renew the ban — and the U.S. Conference of Mayors stood beside her. The ban passed through the Judiciary Committee but was ultimately rejected 40 to 60 in the Senate.

“She was also a lifelong advocate for women’s rights, paving the way for so many women leaders in U.S. politics. I worked with her as she co-founded the Women Mayors Leadership Alliance alongside Phoenix Mayor Margaret Hance to promote women mayors for leadership positions within our organization.

“She appreciated the advocacy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and she used it. She never faltered on the tough issues. America’s mayors mourn with her daughter Katherine and the Feinstein family, but we find solace in the fact that her legacy will live on to benefit Californians — and all Americans — for generations to come.”