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Former San Francisco supervisor remembers Sen. Feinstein's legacy

Carol Ruth Silver who served as S.F. supe with Dianne Feinstein looks back
Carol Ruth Silver who served as S.F. supe with Dianne Feinstein looks back 03:14

San Francisco — A former San Francisco supervisor recalls Sen. Dianne Feinstein's rise through politics and her legacy.

A pivotal moment in Senator Dianne Feinstein's career included the moments following the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk.

Then president of the Board of Supervisors, Feinstein held a press conference, and Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver, who is 84 years old today, was sitting next to her.

"Dianne was always elegant, charming, graceful, the most together person that you could possibly imagine, you have to remember that she was breaking glass ceilings before I was doing so," said Silver, a civil rights attorney and activist. "She became a supervisor at a time when people said 'Oh, girls don't get to be supervisors.'"

Silver served three terms as a San Francisco supervisor after being elected with Milk in 1977. The assassinations the following year led her to become the first woman mayor in the city. 

Related: Dianne Feinstein remembered as tireless advocate for California conservation

"She was at all times ready for whatever had happened," said Silver. 

Silver said, when she learned of her death, she knew that she was at the end of her ability to function as a public official. 

"Dianne's legacy in San Francisco is not 100% progressive, but at the same time, I as a progressive, Harvey as a progressive, would point out that her great skill was as a negotiator, and her ability to compromise," she added. 

For example, Silver said she was personally responsible for getting permits and opportunities for a number of large buildings to be built in an efficient and speedy manner. 

She said the senator rose through the ranks without any prior ties in DC.   

"She was not someone who had a political history and whose parents had been involved in politics. She didn't even have money to start out with. She was just a nice, young woman who was just very smart," Silver said. 

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