127 Women: The Swearing in the 116th Congress
The Most Diverse Congress Ever
Last week, a record number of women joined the 116th United States Congress. 127, to be exact. This congress also includes record numbers of Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American lawmakers. Democrats, and women in particular, broke any number of religious and racial barriers during this historic election.
A day of firsts.
First Muslim and Native American women in office. First openly bisexual Senator. First African-American women to serve their states. First Latina women to serve in Texas. First Asian-American from New Jersey. Youngest black woman ever elected to Congress. Youngest woman ever elected.
You get the idea.
There were a lot of historic and heartwarming moments during the swearing-in of the 116th Congress.
Here are a few of our favorites:
1. AZ Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual Senator, was sworn in on a law book. By Mike Pence, who voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007.
2. Deb Haaland, Representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district, was sworn in wearing a traditional Pueblo dress. Along with KS Representative Sharice Davids, she is one of the first Native-American women to serve in Congress.
3. Minnesota Representative, Ilhan Omar, made history 3 times in one day. She is one of the first Muslim women to enter Congress, along with MN Representative Rashida Tlaib. They were both sworn in on the Koran, which is a first in this country. And, an 1837 rule banning Representatives from wearing any headgear during sessions was changed to allow religious head coverings, so that Rep. Omar could wear her hijab.
4. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, and the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, danced into her new office.
5. Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American Congresswoman, spoke her mind and damn the consequences.
6. Nancy Pelosi, newly elected Speaker of the House, quoted Republican President Ronald Regan to prove a point about immigration and the importance of protecting DREAMers:
“If we ever close the door to new Americans, our leadership role in the world will soon be lost.”-Ronald Reagan
It didn’t go over well with Republicans.
7. Lots of new congresspeople, both men and women, brought their kids along.
8. A least half the room suddenly became a whole lot more colorful.
feature Photo: Rep. Judy Chu via FB