As we continue to celebrate women’s history month, we are taking a moment to celebrate the women who made history when they were elected to Congress last November. Many of these women are representing groups that deserve a seat at the table but didn’t have one before, and they bring valuable perspective to Washington.
Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, Democratic Representatives from Kansas and New Mexico, are the first Native American women elected to Congress. Not only that, but Rep. Sharice Davids is also serving as the first openly LGBT member to represent Kansas. She was elected on a platform of opportunity — she worked for her dreams and goals, eventually graduating from Cornell Law School, and wants other middle-class families to be able to achieve the same things that she did. Rep. Deb Haaland’s community-focused platform supports the people of New Mexico. She is determined to advocate for the underrepresented, hoping to benefit her community through creating jobs, advocating for clean energy, backing small businesses, and investing in education.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, from New York’s 14th congressional district, shocked many when she won her House primary against the incumbent representative, although her supporters were not surprised. They again showed up to the polls despite the rain to vote her into office, making AOC, as she is now also known (@AOC on twitter), the youngest member in the history of the House, and in the history of Congress as a whole, at just 29 years old. She is making waves with her refusal to accept the status quo and her determination to never give up.
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Democrats from Michigan and Minnesota, are the first Muslim women elected to Congress, with Rep. Tlaib also serving as the first Palestinian-American Representative, and Rep. Omar serving as this first Somali-American and as the first former refugee Representative. Rep. Tlaib has stated she is “a mother working for justice for all,” championing the people over billionaire interests, putting the care of her people above all else. Rep. Omar plans to focus on the issues that matter to the people, ensuring fairness for all in education, in the workforce, and in the immigration system, as well as speaking to the threat of climate change.
Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic Senator from Arizona, is making history as not only the first openly bisexual member of the legislature, but also as the first female Senator for Arizona. Sen. Sinema believes in the American dream, but more than that, she believes in making that dream a possibility for all Arizonians. She plans to serve and give back through continued dedication to veteran welfare, job creation, and the safety of Americans both at home and abroad.
Former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ); former Air Force Capt. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA); and Navy veteran Elaine Luria (D-VA) all joined the House of Representatives. Former Air Force Colonel Martha McSally (R-AZ) joined Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), both veterans, in the Senate. These women all contribute to a historic number of female veterans currently serving in Congress.
Here at CCAH, we are so inspired by women who have chosen to run for office and are making history every day!