The midterm elections proved to be powerful and significant for minorities, electing women of color and LGBTQ candidates into office.
By Monserrat Solis, Co-Editor-in-Chief
A record-breaking 117 women and LGBTQ candidates were elected during the 2018 Midterm Election across the United States — which means more power to minorities.
Electing women and minorities into government solidifies representation for people who historically had their voices silenced. Where women are 50.8 percent of the American population, we need to have a say in what happens to us.
In an exit poll run by CNN, 80 percent of voters said “it’s very or somewhat important that more women be elected to public office,” and half said “it’s very important.”
Seven-in-ten said that it is “very somewhat important for racial and ethnic minorities to be elected to public office.” Eighty percent of African-American voters said it is important to elect minorities while two-thirds of white voters agreed.
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives after the midterms, in which 17 of the 27 flipped seats were filled by women.
Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, has many firsts to her name: first women of color in Congress from Minnesota, first women to wear a hijab, first refugee and one of the first Muslim women in Congress. Omar fights to abolish ICE, for the protection of immigrant families and refugees, women’s rights and climate change.
Rashida Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American to join the U.S. Congress, who fights for a $15 minimum wage and Medicare for all.
Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids are the first Native-American Congresswomen. Ayanna Pressley, Jahana Hayes and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have also made their mark on history.
Marsha Blackburn made history after winning the Tennessee Senate seat with almost 55 percent over her male counterpart, Phil Bredesen, becoming Tennessee’s first female Senator.
More than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These women are creating change in the government – whether they are blue or red – and showing future generations that their dream of becoming anything, despite their gender, race or sexual preference, is possible.
The LGBTQ community made their mark as well, with New Hampshire electing its first transgender members: Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon. Colorado’s Jared Polis is the first openly gay Governor, and David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Mark Takano of California are now openly gay members of the House of Representatives.
A study by Gallup states that there are 10 million Americans that identify as LGBT and having representatives in the government offers them an ally. Because minorities are the first to be attacked, support and power should be geared towards them.
As the minority and LGBTQ communities expand, there needs to be proper representation in politics who can speak for us. These changes are significant for the rights of people who have been discriminated against, now finally their voices will be heard.