Step aside, women of color aren’t waiting ‘for our turn’ to take over the archaic, ‘grey suited’ seats that are no longer working for the United States. The political courage to step up and take over are definitely within our reach and trailblazers like Shirley Chrisholm, the first African American woman to be elected to Congress in 1968 set the path for today’s women of color to run – Saira Rao (Denver), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), Xochitl Small (New Mexico), Gina Ortiz Jones (Texas), Deb Haaland (New Mexico), Veronica Escobar (Texas) Sylvia Garcia (Texas), Debbie Marcusel-Powell (Florida) and more are proving that running for a political seat can be done.

“It doesn’t take 100 years to do this…it takes political courage”

Since the 2016 Hillary/Trump election, the country catapulted into a realization – white educated women voted Trump into office and his administration is practically void of people of color. Only 21 percent of women of color voted for Hillary Clinton, 16% make up House Democrats and 8% in House Senate seats. That is a paltry number! It’s safe to say that the Democratic party is making moves to shed any infrastructures, frameworks that hold ‘white caucacity’ supremacist ideologies – however, there are still ‘blue or blue-leaning’ states with no people of color in congressional seats – ‘white male’ led states like Massachusetts and Colorado.

So, what is Congress or a Congressional seat? Members of Congress represent the people of their district in the United States Congress. Having a Congressional seat means that these members can speak for and represent their district on state and federal levels.

According to the Rutgers State University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics/Center For American Women In Politics, in 2018, 107 (78D, 29R) women hold seats in the United States Congress. This year, there are 309 women candidates for Congress, a record for the United States. A new wave of young progressive women of color are included bringing their own life experiences and painful stories to form their equity for all platforms.

Here Are Two Candidates Challenging The Establishment –

Ayanna Pressley

Put in her nomination Democratic card for the 7th congressional district of Massachusetts. Pressley has been progressively climbing the political ladder making her mark as first woman of color and still serving, in the Boston City Council’s 100 year history. As an African-American woman, Pressley leads with a social justice platform with an ‘Equity Agenda’ to improve the lives of people that have too often been left behind. Open about her experiences of a college sexual assault, her Black lived experience – she strongly relates with those who have experienced the same. Pressley’s approach has had its critics claiming ‘identity politics’ playing, however Pressley claims she is not just talking about ‘communities of color’ but everyday residents left behind. In 2016, Pressley was named one of The New York Times 14 Young Democrats to Watch. #ChangeCantWait

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

At 28 years old, the Bronx native, Latina is in the nation’s most progressive campaigns in history as her quest is to unseat after 14 years with no challenge, incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in New York’s Bronx/Queens 14th District’s Democratic primary. A former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer – Ocasio-Cortez is mirroring the Sanders funding approach to not take corporate political action committees’ dollars unlike her incumbent Crowley. Ocasio-Cortez’s issues include defunding ICE, creating a clear path towards immigration, eliminating student debt and working for the Bronx/Queens working class. “It doesn’t take 100 years to do this…it takes political courage”.  New York, make sure you show up to vote on June 26th.

A complete list of all women running for Congressional/Statewide Elected Executive is available for each state – check it out.

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