As our phones constantly bring us notifications from Apple News, The Guardian, USA Today, The Times, and other news outlets, politics is all the buzz right now. We may dread reading the new headlines, or tweets from the White House’s current occupant, but one thing that made me smile was seeing not one, but four Women of Color get re-elected, holding their seat in the House of Representatives. These four Women of Color known as “The Squad” were originally elected in 2018 all being “freshmen”, or “newbies” to the House of Representatives. This time around, they are no newbies. Taking on leadership roles for their states, these women have gained both supporters and haters in the world of politics. Lets delve a little into who the squad is, and why you should care.
Who is “The Squad”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the congresswoman representing the 14th District of New York. As a woman partially raised in the Bronx, New York, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez saw a need she wanted to do something about. Often referred to as AOC, Ocasio-Cortez has brought about spice to the podium whenever she speaks. Her push for “Democratic Socialism” aids her drive to eradicate the gaps between the rich and poor. She wishes to close these gaps because she doesn’t believe in a system that allows individuals to suffer for a means to simply live. As a Puerto Rican woman, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez understands the importance of removing the harsh enforcements placed on immigrants. Her fight for equality will now continue as she has been re-elected.
Ayanna Pressley is the congresswoman representing the 7th District of Massachusetts. Not only does Pressley turn heads with her presence, but she made history by being the first Black woman to be elected to Congress by the state of Massachusetts. With her experiences, she has been able to create change in her community from a place of understanding. Congresswoman Pressley has made it her business to fight for new policies regarding the criminal justice system, as well as rights of immigrants. Not only does she hold these issues near to her heart, but she also fights for reproductive rights, and the rights of victims of sexual assault. Her fight will also continue as she has been re-elected for another term.
Ilhan Omar is the congresswoman representing the 5th District of Minnesota. Congresswoman Omar is one of two of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. Congresswoman Omar is also the first Somali-American woman to serve in Congress. While there are many issues to be grasped, Congresswoman Omar has a special interest in the fight for fair minimum-wage, student loan forgiveness, immigration reform, and climate change. She values the wants and needs of her citizens, often listening to them when thinking of her next move. Her mission to make everyone know that their voices deserve to be heard continues today. She is not one for silencing marginalized voices, but wishes for fair treatment of every citizen. She has been re-elected to continue this fight.
Rashida Tlaib is the Congresswoman representing the 13th District of Michigan. She alongside Omar is one of the first of two Muslim women to serve in Congress. Her love for family shows through her drive to grow close to her citizens so that she may understand their needs and complete her duties to the best of her abilities. Born and raised in Detroit she has a personal connection with the citizens of her district. Congresswoman Tlaib puts up a special fight for her communities to stay clean. She pushes big businesses and corporations out of neighborhoods where they pollute the air, and fights for a change. She is personally family oriented which shows in what she fights for; the ability to raise your family in clean neighborhoods. Congresswoman Tlaib will continue to fight for these causes as she too has been re-elected.
These women represent so many things. Women in power, women with a voice, women with political stances, women who care, women who want change, women who understand, women of color, WOMEN. So much more than just a hashtag or viral video, they are the reason why representation matters. Somewhere there is a Black girl hoping to speak amongst crowds of people. There are Palestinian girls wanting to push against the status quo and become someone to evoke change. Somewhere there are Puerto Rican and Somalian girls who have finally gotten their role model. For a second time in this nation, these little girls will get to see themselves on TV screens, phones, and tablets, making a difference in and for their communities. 2020 has finally given us something to smile about.
“Our sisterhood is resilient”– Ilhan Omar
With politics being something cringe worthy at times, I hope knowing that sometimes the who and not the what can be just as much of a game changer. With their second go around, there could be many different things to expect. We can expect to see a fight for equality, better minimum wage, a fair criminal justice system, a clean planet, and many more issues. Seeing women fight for these causes will scream I can do it to Women of Color all over the nation. The image that comes to mind when we think politics no longer has to be a heterosexual white male in a suit. The image that comes to mind when we think politics can be so many more things, even a member of “The Squad”.
Women are powerful in that even when they are constantly told they are incapable, they do it anyway. Women are powerful in that when they cant do it alone, they do it together.