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The Midterms 2018 Made HerStory

The midterm elections of 2018 have proved to be record breaking. With the overwhelming amount of voter attendance at the polls and dedication to the promotion of tight local races, a wave of fresh, new candidates now have the opportunity to revolutionize America’s current political landscape.

On Nov 6, Republicans gained control over seats in the Senate, and Democrats dominated in the House of Representatives. As reported by  Five Thirty Eight, the Democratic vote won the race with a 50.7% approval, while Republicans capped at 42%. As a result, one could conclude that much like congress, the country stands on divided grounds. 

However, the crescendo to this issue is the rise of diversity in Washington. To list a few, here is a breakdown of the successors, primarily women, who plan to bring great reform to this administration.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old Democrat from the Bronx, is one of two of the youngest women to be elected to Congress. Running in New York’s 14th congressional district, she began her political career working under Bernie Sanders in 2016.  In her own ventures, she canvassed door to door and gained voter engagement from her extreme relatability. People from the community knew her from her role as a bartender, but now she plans to shake up Washington by proving that women of color deserve to be a part of the conversation.

Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman, and Ilhan Omar the first Somali-American woman were elected to Congress on Tuesday night as well. The first two Muslim congresswomen represent Michigan and Minnesota, and pave a future for other young aspiring Muslim girls.

Among these women are also Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, the first indigenous women to ever be elected. Davids is not only the first Native American woman to be elected, but also identifies as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, Jared Polis made history as he was elected as the first openly gay governor in Colorado.

These inductions mean a lot for America. According to a report in The Guardian, “More women won House seats than ever before. At least 99 women will serve in the House of Representatives; all but a dozen are Democrats.” People are calling this the “Pink Wave” and the “Rainbow Wave” with the outstanding array of diverse identities and opinions that have worked their way into congress. This is history being revealed before our very eyes.

“What could this mean for the last two years of President Trump’s term?” many ask.  

The inclusion of more diverse individuals in the House of Representatives could bring equilibrium and protection to the voices that are not heard among the powerful. Yet, it may give more control to Republicans in 2020 with their place in the senate.

The current administration has been trying to redefine what it means to be an American citizen under policy reform since the 2016 elections. Therefore, the less accessibility we have to our basic human rights, the more divided the country will become.

With recent threats made by President Trump against trans rights, birthright citizenship and Roe V. Wade, the country has treaded fearfully for its future, but has also protested quite powerfully before the elections. This Election Day, voters saw what was at stake, and re-claimed their power as abiding U.S. citizens.

With this election alone, it is clear that women and minorities are projecting their voices at much denser volumes. Stacey Abrahams, the Democrat candidate for governor in Georgia put her foot down when the votes deemed too close to her component, Republican, Brian Kemp on Wednesday morning. She demanded that the votes be recounted, and would not give up until there were exact results.

“Democracy only works when we work for it, when we fight for it, when we demand it, and apparently today when we stand in line for hours to meet it at the ballot box,” said Abrahams as she addressed local supporters.

Women and men like Abrahams, Ocasio-Cortez and Polis, among several other trailblazers that were elected Tuesday night have brought the necessary terms of equality back to politics. They inspire other minorities to become involved and fight for their existence in this country. The glass-ceiling is a construct that can be continuously broken apart by feminist values. The importance of having leaders who represent our differences is imperative at this time. After all, our differences is not a condition that should tear us apart, but piece us closer together.

Mia Montalvo

Montclair '21

Mia Montalvo is a sophomore at Montclair State University studying Communications & Media. Her passions include telling people's stories, trying new foods, and adventuring out into the city.
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