NASTY WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT
Although it’s felt like we’ve endured a major blow to the head (and the heart) following this election, there are some inspiring women who won big this election season. Come 2017, there will be a record number of women of color serving in Congress. That makes 38 women (35 Dems, 3 Republicans) out of 535 Members of Congress. Hopefully that number will only continue to grow because women are still--obviously--ridiculously underrepresented. In the meantime, we are celebrating these wins and will be following these kick-ass women throughout out their terms as they do just that – kick ass!
CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO – U.S. Senate, Nevada, Democrat
Catherine Cortez Masto is the first Latina in the U.S. Senate, and Nevada’s first female Senator! As attorney general of Nevada, Cortez Masto she worked to prevent sex trafficking, methamphetamine manufacturing, and home foreclosures. She replaces Senate minority leader Harry Reid and plans to focus on immigration reform throughout her term!
TAMMY DUCKWORTH – U.S. Senate, Illinois, Democrat
Ms. Duckworth is quickly becoming a personal hero of mine. She is the first Thai woman elected to the Senate and the first Asian American woman elected from Illinois to the Senate. She’s also the first disabled female Army veteran elected to Congress! She was one of the first women to fly in combat missions, and in 2004, she lost both of her legs after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq. In 2009, Duckworth was appointed Assistant Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs by President Obama, and in 2012 she ran for the House and won! She has also finished the Chicago marathon four times using a hand cranked bike. I mean, this woman is unstoppable, right?!
KAMALA HARRIS – U.S. Senate, California, Democrat
There are so many firsts for Ms. Kamala Harris. She is California’s first African American and Asian American Senator and America’s first Indian American Senator! Born to immigrant parents (her mother is from India, and her father is from Jamaica), Harris served as San Francisco’s District Attorney from 2003 to 2011, and she became California’s Attorney General in 2010.
MAGGIE HASSAN – U.S. Senate, New Hampshire, Democrat
Ms. Hassan was elected to the U.S. Senate by the people of New Hampshire and unseated Republican Kelly Ayotte. She is currently serving as the Governor of New Hampshire, having been elected in 2013. Hassan’s top priorities are reproductive rights and climate change. Two issues that will definitely be “controversial” during Donald’s administration.
LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER – U.S. House of Representatives, Delaware, Democrat
Ms. Blunt Rochester is Delaware’s first female African American Representative! Way to go Delaware! She has worked as Delaware’s Secretary of Labor and Delaware’s Personnel Director. She has also served as the CEO of a think tank focused on the empowerment of people of color.
PRAMILA JAYAPAL – U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, Democrat
Hailing from the state of Washington, Pramila Jayapal is the first Indian American elected to the House of Representatives. She immigrated to the United States from India at age 16, and after 9/11, she formed OneAmerica, an immigration advocacy organization.
ILHAN OMAR – Minnesota State Legislator, Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Some good news for our Somali family! Ilhan Omar is America’s first Somali American appointed as a U.S. lawmaker. Although she won’t be holding national office, Ms. Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. After fleeing Somalia, she spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp with her family before settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the age of 12. She spoke no English. And you guys, she won her district with 80% of the vote! Amazing.