When I served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1987 to 1994, I took on an issue that was anathema to then-Senate President Bill Bulger and his lieutenants -- a proposed civil rights bill outlawing discrimination against gay people in employment and housing.
At the time I became its lead sponsor, the bill had gone down to defeat for 10 straight years. I'm pleased to say that we worked with colleagues and civil rights groups and got the legislation passed.
For overcoming insider politics in the Senate, the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts hailed my "great courage and independence" and "enormous political skill." CLUM exaggerates, which I really appreciate. Still, standing up to the powers-that-be was, and is, no walk in the park. Sometimes it's necessary, though.