History was made in the 2018 midterm elections, with major steps and accomplishments for women and the LGBT community.
Some of the biggest news came from the House, where a record number of women are poised to take seats. In all, at least 100 women won House races. Thirty five of those 100 will be first-time representatives, with 65 being re-elected incumbents. The previous record for women in the House was 84, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Not only will more women be in the House, but the Democrats overtook control and now own the majority. Voters made this an election to be remembered, but also gave a voice to the underrepresented and took aim at President Donald Trump and his administration.
In addition to the record-setting numbers of the House, there were many other firsts in this year’s election. Democrats Sharice Davids won in Kansas and Deb Haaland won in New Mexico and will become the first Native American women to be elected to Congress.
Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation while Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna. While Davids is a Native American, she also identifies as a lesbian, making her the first openly gay member of Congress from Kansas.
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s llhan Omar became the first Muslim women to win seats in Congress.
Women were not the only ones making headlines, Jared Polis of Colorado was elected as the first openly gay governor in U.S. history. Also, Marsha Blackburn was victorious in Tennessee, making her the first woman senator in the state’s history.
Getting different voices from different backgrounds will help push new ideas forward.
More importantly it is crucial that women and minorities see their voices represented in the government.
For a government to be fair and equal all voices need to not only be heard, but have a hand in the decision making process.
According to a study by the Reflective Democracy Campaign, 97 percent of all elected Republican officials are white and 76 percent are men, while 79 percent of Democratic officials are white and 65 percent are male.
In recent years, more women have been running for offices around the U.S., this is good for everyone. The gap between women and men in office remains large, but with the success in this election, the hope is that more women continue to turn out. The current demographics of Congress do not fully represent this country, and with help we can change that.