There are an endless number of negative things to dwell on given the outcome of our presidential election. While you grieve our chances of electing a female president this year, and plan how you’ll take action against a Republican White House, House, and Senate, don’t forget the many women of color who came out of this election triumphant.
These are the six women of color that clinched historic wins across the country on Tuesday:
- Ilhan Omar (D): By winning her race in Minnesota, Omar became the first Somali-American to be elected state legislator, and the first Somali-American elected to any public office in the country. Omar’s platform mainly focuses on the criminal justice system and police reform, as well as women’s reproductive rights.
- Lisa Blunt Rochester (D): On Tuesday Rochester became the first woman and first Black person elected to congress in Delaware. With a focus on women’s rights, Rochester has an eight-point Economic Agenda for Delaware Women and Families promoting policies such as paid family and medical leave, affordable child care, equal pay, a minimum wage increase, and reproductive health services.
- Tammy Duckworth (D): Duckworth is the first Thai-American elected to the Senate. During her time in congress, Duckworth earned a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, for her work in women’s reproductive rights.
- Kamala Harris (D): Harris is the country’s first Indian-American and the second Black woman elected to the Senate. A pro-choice hero, Harris’ office was one of the first to investigate false videos from the Center for Medical Progress attacking Planned Parenthood.
- Catherine Cortez Masto (D): After being elected in Nevada, Masto is the first Latina women in the Senate. Masto made women’s reproductive rights and health care a focus of her campaign after her opponent repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood. She also adamantly opposes efforts to criminalize abortion.
- Pramila Jayapal (D): By winning in Washington, Jayapal became the first Indian-American woman elected to congress. As Washington’s congresswoman, Jayapal plans to fight to raise the minimum wage, implement paid sick, safe and family leave, and increase access to women’s health care opportunities.
The victories of Duckworth, Harris, and Cortez Masto also quadrupled the number of women of color in the Senate. Of course by quadrupled we mean it went from one woman to four women, which is still not even close to the number of white senators, but it is the largest increase in just one election.
This progress is not grand, but it is significant. These women made history on Tuesday, and hopefully will continue to make history during their time as our elected officials.
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