“I’m elated and I’m overwhelmed because just the thought that so many people right now, millions of people, will not be forced out on the streets,” Bush told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday.
Sources close to the congresswoman tell CNN that she is back in St. Louis at the moment, taking stock of this time in the national spotlight, and that she feels “emboldened” and “incredibly validated” by what has transpired.
For Bush, the issue is personal. Prior to being elected to Congress, she faced eviction herself on multiple occasions, including as recently as 2015. The 45-year-old single mother has been evicted three times before and has spoken about what it was like to live out of a car with two children.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, when asked what role Bush’s protest played in the administration’s decision-making on the eviction moratorium, “I don’t think anyone could hear congresswoman Bush’s own personal story and experience and see her advocacy and her passion and not be moved by that. I know a number of members of Congress were moved by that as well.”
The congresswoman has had an unexpected rise in politics.
In 2014, after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Bush marched, organized and provided support to her community in crisis as a nurse and pastor.
“On the streets of Ferguson, it was totally organic,” Bush told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday. “We were outraged, we were frustrated, and upset, we were angry. It was very emotional and intense, and the hurt, you know, fueled us to want to do more.”
As a member of Congress, Bush has used her voice to speak out about her lived experiences as a Black woman as she advocates for policy change and racial justice.
“Every day, Black women are subjected to harsh and racist treatment during pregnancy and childbirth. Every day, Black women die because the system denies our humanity, it denies us patient care,” Bush said.
Bush later said she received an outpouring of positive responses from women afterward.
“The response has been tremendous,” she told CNN’s Burnett last year. “Women have reached out saying I feel heard, and I don’t feel ashamed.”
CNN’s David Gracey contributed to this report.