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Midterms – The Women Who Dared to Dream

By November 7, 2018 Culture

Democrats have won control of the House and locked in on instrumental governorships late Tuesday night even amidst the Senate majority of Republicans who grappled to keep a few seats. In what was an intense midterm battle, America has enshrined the cognitive dissonance that has plagued its people since the election of President Trump two years ago. The monumentally high turnout was surely a significant catalyst in deadlocking the Congress, an inevitable symptom of what has become a divided nation. The Democratic win is sure to pose acerbic institutional checks on President Trump’s administration, who will have to brace themselves for a tumultuous series of oversight from Capitol Hill where Democratic chairs will question and restrain his every move.

The Republican’s eight year grip on the House majority was ended rather abruptly and most notably, by a swift, cool breeze of an array of diverse candidates. Many of them immigrants, PoC, Muslim, and of course, women. In addition to candidates, voters also weighed in on more than 150 ballot initiatives. According to the New York Times, some of these included the following remarkable feats:

• Florida restored voting rights to 1.5 million people who had been convicted of felonies but had completed their sentences. The new voters could change the political dynamics for the 2020 race in the perennial battleground state.

• Massachusetts voters rejected a referendum that would have repealed a 2016 law preventing discrimination based on gender identity in public spaces, including bathrooms.

• Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana while North Dakota voters decided not to legalize recreational marijuana.

• Voters in Arkansas and Missouri raised the minimum wage. In Missouri, the wage will rise to $11 from $8.50; Arkansas’s will increase to $12 from $7.85.

 

Amidst the wave of Democrats who are itching to ignite a change within the State are some remarkable women. Some of whom were even first time contenders. This is a stunning feat for women all over America, for immigrant women of colour, for minority women, for indigenous women, and for the African American woman. This midterm election has solidified the foul taste in voters’ mouths from two years prior; people want to see a change and are doing something about it. A nation divided is a nation where a drastic metamorphosis is needed. Since Tuesday, social media has been buzzing, voters came out in their hoards and showcased their badge of agency for the world to see. A sea of “I voted” stickers flooded Instagram, foreshadowing the shift in representation that lay mere hours ahead.

According to NYT:

Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat in Massachusetts, will become the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress after winning her race, according to The Associated Press. She beat a 10-term Democratic incumbent in her primary and vowed to pursue “activist leadership” to advance a progressive agenda.

Ilhan Omar, a Democratic state legislator in Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib, a former Democratic state legislator in Michigan, became the first Muslim women elected to Congress after winning their House races, according to The Associated Press.

Ms. Omar will also be the first Somali-American to serve in Congress. She has called for gun control, single-payer health care and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Ms. Tlaib, a Palestinian-American attorney, has championed Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing the government agency known as ICE.

Sharice Davids, a Democrat and former White House fellow from Kansas, and Deb Haaland, a Democratic community activist from New Mexico, became the first Native American women voted in to the House after winning their races, according to The Associated Press.

Also notable are Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia won their House seats, becoming the first Hispanic women the state has ever elected to federal office. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  She won in New York’s 14th District.

Juliana Stratton was elected to be the Lt. Governor of Illinois. An extremely skilled legislator, she has now set the record for most Black lieutenant governors in American history.

Lucy McBath won in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Lucy is also the mother of Jordan Davis who was shot and killed by a bigoted, racist, white man when Jordan’s friends where playing music in their car.
Kristi Noem will become South Dakota’s first female governor after defeating Democrat Billie Sutton.
So what does a Democratic win mean? According to CNN, “In theory, the new Democratic majority would have the capacity to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump, should there be sufficient grounds uncovered in Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. Though the Republican gains in the Senate make it even less likely that there would be a two-thirds majority needed to convict a president and evict him from office. Much will depend on how Trump reacts to what is undeniable a rebuke from voters two years into a presidency that has unfolded in institutional chaos, torn at racial and cultural divides and often trampled on truth and facts.”
What is certain however, is that America is turning a new page and is setting the scene for what 2020 may unfold. A majority of Americans have spoken, and the message is ringing louder than ever before.
The future is female.

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