5 Women in Politics I Legit Can't Stop Watching Right Now

With the recent 2018 midterm election and the quickly approaching 2020 presidential election, this moment in time is chock full of inspiring women in politics.

In this past election cycle, over 100 women were elected to Congress – more women than ever before. Not only did they outperform in numbers, but they accomplished a lot of firsts. We got to witness history as the first Palestinian-American, Somali-American, Native American and Muslim women were elected to the House. 

Plus, Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual person elected to the Senate, Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first black woman in the House, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman in Congress at just 29 years old.

If these women haven’t already motivated you to run, they’ll surely inspire you to make sure your hustle is big. From the House to the Senate, here are five faces I can't stop watching right now, and you should definitely look out for them too.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

  1. 1. Kamala Harris

    If you’ve been following the news recently, you know that Kamala Harris is one of several women running for president in 2020. However, you might be wondering: How did she get to this point?

    In college, Harris attended Howard University to study political science and economics, and was a part of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first sorority founded by African-American college women. Harris then attended UC Hastings for her doctorate, and a year later was admitted to the state bar. Since then, she has served as the District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of California, and is currently a U.S. Senator from California. 

    Harris serves on key committees such as the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. She believes in a $15 minimum wage, protecting the rights of immigrants, making college more accessible, and healthcare for all – just to name a few of her campaign promises. She has a history of being tough on human trafficking, fighting Wall Street to protect homeowners and helping bring down Prop 8 in California to protect LGBTQ+ rights.

    If all that wasn’t already impressive enough, in just over a year, she could very well be the first female president of the United States! It’s clear that Harris’ extensive educational and political background is extremely impressive and complete goals for strong women everywhere who want to lead with a sense of purpose.

  2. 2. Ayanna Pressley

    Before beating out a ten-term incumbent seat, Pressley served on the Boston City Council (also the first black woman to do so). She grew up in Chicago and attended private school where she was voted “most likely to be voted mayor of Chicago”.

    Pressley went on to study at Boston University, but never finished her degree. Instead, she worked at the Copley Marriott to help her mother financially. Her mother is Ayanna’s biggest supporter and someone she looks up to. When serving on the City Council, The Boston Globe reported that, “it was not uncommon for Sandra Pressley to attend City Council meetings, where she was affectionately called Mama Pressley and wore a hat emblazoned with the title.” In Congress, Pressley’s caucus memberships include the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues and the Congressional Black Caucus. 

    Since being sworn into office, Pressley has demanded a decrease in funding ICE and denounced President Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency. It is clear Pressley is a big proponent of protecting civil liberties –especially immigrants. Right now she is serving on the House Oversight Committee along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and others. Pressley is definitely someone to look out for as she makes waves fighting for people everywhere. 

  3. 3. Ilhan Omar

    Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American female legislator in Congress. As a child, she fled a war-torn Somalia and spent four years at a Kenyan refugee camp before arriving in the U.SOmar represents Minnesota’s 5th district, and prior to running, was a professor at the University of Minnesota. 

    After winning the election in 2018, Omar stated, “Tonight, we are celebrating this win, our win. But our work won’t stop. We will continue to build a more prosperous and equitable district – state and nation – where each and every one of us has opportunities to thrive and move forward together.” 

    Omar’s words still clearly ring true as she is continuing to fight, for what is right along with other progressive women in Congress. Omar believes in fighting for issues such as free tuition, universal healthcare and protection for Dreamers. Omar’s story is certainly inspiring and it’s definitely worth watching her to see how her policies and stances affect Congress.

  4. 4. Kyrsten Sinema

    In this past 2018 election, Kyrsten Sinema broke out as a shining star. She beat Martha McSally for Jeff Flake’s senate seat in Arizona and simultaneously became the first openly bisexual woman and atheist in the Senate. She also became Arizona’s first female Senator. 

    Sinema now serves beside McSally, after McSally succeeded John Kyl in filling out the remainder of the late John McCain’s term. Before she became a politician, Sinema was a social worker looking to make a direct difference in the lives of elementary school kids. She “converted the former girls' locker room into a family resource center; her office was in the gym, and the showers were used as a clothing bank.” 

    Sinema is living proof that sometimes in order to succeed, you need to fail. Elle reported, “Sinema's first attempt at the state legislature—while she was in law school—was a failure,” However Sinema did not give up. Instead of remaining an Independent, “Sinema reregisteed as a Democrat, and the next election she won. At 28, she was Arizona's youngest lawmaker; she took the bar exam her first month in office."  

    Sinema’s inspiring life story and journey to the Senate will help inspire your own potential. 

  5. 5. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is most definitely a name you’ve been seeing on the news and around social media. She has a whopping 2.2 million followers on Instagram and ran a grassroots campaign in the 2018 midterms. After beating the longtime NY-14 incumbent, Joe Crowley, she has been flipping the House upside down. 

    Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University with a degree in international relations and economics. Before deciding to enter politics, she worked as a bartender in Manhattan and was a community organizer. Since being elected, she has had many iconic moments including the post-it notes left outside her office, her dance moves atop of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University, her face during the State of the Union, and of course her progressive Green New Deal bill. She is a progressive democratic socialist looking to fix our country’s broken system and address the inequalities within it. 

    AOC is clearly kicking butt in Congress and takes no B.S. Speaking of which, Congress has definitely taken a liking to her use of social media, so it won’t be hard to see what she’s working on.

Hopefully these five women have either resonated with your own personal story or inspired you to become more involved with politics in your own life. Either way, one thing is clear: these women are making moves and definitely deserve our attention and support.

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