According to the New York Times, "the congressional freshman class of 2019...is the most racially diverse and most female group of representatives ever elected to the House, whose history spans more than 200 years." As a young female, this is incredibly encouraging to see. Finally, after years and years of seeing the same faces—mostly white and mostly male—we are seeing those who look more like us, more of what a House of Representatives should look like.
We have seen an incredible number of records broken this past midterm. Several of the freshmen-elect were the first African American women to be sent from their states, like Representative Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts. Both Kansas and New Mexico sent Native American women to the House for the first time ever. The results of the 2018 midterm election even ushered in the idea of the " Year of the Woman". Most of these newly elected women are replacing men who held their seats before them.
This is incredible news for women to carry on their shoulders into 2019. While some feel that the "Year of the Woman" may not be very significant to them, I feel as if these victories are a refreshing dip into the future. I hope that I will be able to watch these women succeed in helping their communities and accomplishing their goals. Now more than ever, we need more equal representation in both chambers of Congress. The 2018 midterms served as a springboard for women to accomplish this newfound representation that we have so desperately been waiting for.
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, November 2018
I hope that these results and that the work of these congresswomen will inspire young women across the United States to run for public office. After all, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly-elected congresswoman, shattered the record for the youngest member of Congress. The 116th Congress has given me the hope that my peers and I will be fought for in government; our voices will be heard.