One out of every three women nominees for Congress this year — across parties — are women of color. Read that again. And again, and again. While each of these electoral wins have been "surprising," "startling," and even "shocking" to the white, male establishment, one out of every three is no anomaly. Our democracy should reflect our demography. This is what our democracy is supposed to look like.
Women of color are running in record numbers, voting in record numbers, and are now poised to make substantive change to the makeup of our political institutions. They are amongst the best political minds of this (and any) generation, and they have already changed the game in American politics. This is the new normal.
Take Ayanna Pressley, a Democratic candidate for the House in Massachusetts, who unseated 10-term Rep. Mike Capuano. In her election victory speech, she declared that we cannot have a government for and by the people if it’s not represented by allthe people.
[Representation] matters because it informs the issues that are spotlighted and emphasized, and it leads to more innovative and enduring solutions.
Or look at Tlaib, who is promising to "fight back against every racist and oppressive structure that needs to be dismantled." During her speech at the She the People Summit, Tlaib rattled off the colorful names of other candidates like Pressley and candidate for New York attorney general Letitia James as she called out the establishment:
We’re going to Congress. Yeah, you’re gonna have to learn how to say our names.
And of course there is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who unseated 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley, the number four Democrat in the House of Representatives. All indications point to a November win, which will make Ocasio-Cortez the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Take that in: the youngest woman elected to the U.S. Congress will be a Latina from the Bronx. Hear her words:
Voters ... were yearning for a candidate who spoke directly to them and to our needs. ... I was able to allow our community to really feel seen and heard, and visited and advocated for.