An Election of Firsts

Some people are in despair while others are ecstatic about the outcome of the 2016 elections. 

If you haven't heard, Donald Trump was elected president. And Republicans won majority in the House and Senate. 

No matter how we feel about the outcome, we can all agree that there were a lot of firsts this time around. Hillary Clinton was the first female presidential nominee to be endorsed by a major party. Donald Trump is the first president who has remarried not once, but three times. He is also the first president in the past three decades who did not end his victory speech by blessing our nation. And even before the election began, our nation was led by its first African-American president and first lady, the Obama's.

Regardless of which party you side with, you have something to be excited about... diversity has increased. The number of women of color in the Senate has quadrupled. Before the election, Maize Hirono was the only woman of color in the Senate. Hirono is a Japanese-American woman who represents the Democratic party of Hawaii. 

 

Joining her are Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris, and Catherine Cortez Masto. Tammy Duckworth is an Asian-American woman representing the Democratic party of Illinois. Kamala Harris identifies as an African-American and Indian-American woman. Harris is California's newly elected US senator. She is the second African-American woman to serve in congress, the first was Shirley Chilsholm who represented New York in 1969. Representing the Democratic party for Nevada is a Latina woman, Catherine Cortez Masto. 

In addition to them, Pramila Jayapal is the first person of color elected to the Washington State Democratic Delegation, as well as thefirst South-Asian women ever to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

Another woman to break down barriers is Ilhan Omar. Omar is the first Somali-American and Muslim woman to be elected into Legislature. Both Jayapal and Omar immigrated to the US when they were in their teens. 

Florida elected its first Vietnamese-American woman into congress, Stephanie Murphey. She immigrated to the US when she was one year old. 

Oregon elected its first openly LGBT Governor, Kate Brown. 

Another notable victory comes from Michigan, who elected their youngest State Representative ever, Jewell Jones. He is a 21 year old African-American male. Last year, Jones was the youngest member of the Inkster City Council when he was just 20. 

Currently 20 women (14 Democrats, 6 Republicans) hold a spot on the US senate, occupying 20 of 100 seats. In a perfect world, we would have equal representation for men, women, and those who identify otherwise. Although this is not necessarily equal, it is a step in the right direction. 

In the words of Hillary Clinton, "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling- but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this: never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance in the world to pursue your dreams."

When we stand united, we have the power to change the world.