- Vanity Fair recently published an article on Washington’s power players which included a now-iconic image of six new Congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Deb Haaland, Veronica Escobar, and Sharice Davids.
- The six new members are part of the most diverse class of Congress in US history.
- Here’s who they are:
New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th District, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a progressive platform and identifies as a democratic socialist, is a social media favourite with nearly two million Twitter followers. The young congresswoman beat veteran Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in the primaries, shocking many in the Democratic Party.
Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley
Ayanna Pressley, who represents Massachusetts’ 7th district, is the first African-American woman to ever represent the state in Congress. Pressley, a former Boston city councilwoman, ran on a progressive platform and ousted 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano in the primaries. Pressley ran on the basis that her district, the only majority minority in Massachusetts, needs to be represented by a leader who is at the forefront of the progressive movement and the anti-Trump “resistance.”
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar, a representative from Minnesota’s 5th District, is the first Somali-American elected to Congress and one of the first two Muslim women elected to serve in Capitol Hill. Omar, who came to the US as a refugee, has previously said she plans “to hold this administration accountable and be a true check and balance.” She succeeded Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, who was elected Minnesota’s attorney general.
New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland
Deb Haaland, who represents New Mexico’s 1st district, is one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo people and the daughter of two US veterans, is an attorney and previously served as chair of the Democratic Party in New Mexico. On Wednesday, she wore traditional Pueblo clothing during her swearing-in ceremony.
Texas Representative Veronica Escobar
Veronica Escobar, who represents Texas’ 16th District, is one of the first two Latinas to represent Texas in Congress. The former El Paso County judge succeeded Beto O’Rourke as he made an attempt to win a Texas Senate seat. Escobar is joined in her feat by Sylvia Garcia, a representative from Houston.
About 40% of Texans are Hispanic or Latino, but voters had never elected a Latina woman to either chamber of Congress.
Kansas Representative Sharice Davids
Sharice Davids, from Kansas’ 3rd District, is one of the two first Native American women elected to Congress. Davids, who is a lesbian, is also the first member of the LGBTQ community from Kansas to be elected to Congress. Davids is a professional mixed martial arts artist and a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe. In the 2018 primaries, Davids defeated fellow Democrat Brent Welder, who had been endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
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