Some Firsts For Washington


Allison Kowal Safron, Staff Writer

Upon entering the New Year, people have been striving to bring positive changes into their lives. However, the change that is about to take place in our nation’s capital is one that is unprecedented. As a result of the 2018 midterm elections, countless new faces are entering the political arena, all of whom are eager to create the change necessary for a better tomorrow. With the 116th Congress entering the Capitol Building, President Donald Trump will witness for the first time a truly–and literally–divided government.

After the 2018 midterms, the Democratic party seized control of the House of Representatives, while the Senate maintained it’s Republican majority. What’s intriguing about the 116th Congress is the people that were elected. More women than ever were elected that will be representing several different states. Not only this, but Muslim and Native American women are entering the political landscape for the first time. A majority of the new Congresswomen campaigned holding democratic ideals and values, and with all of these women entering politics, there is no question as to the reasoning behind the new House majority party.

There are many potential reasons to consider as to why there is a record breaking number of women deciding to enter politics, but one stands at the forefront: the evolutions of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Now more than ever, women are taking a stand to fight for equality and representation in government, and that is clearly exemplified by the new representatives coming in with the new wave of Congress.

New faces that are headed to the lower chamber include Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who are the first ever female Muslims hoping to bring change and representation to Washington. Representative Omar is also the first Somali-American to enter Congress. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is serving as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the age of twenty nine. Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Deb Haaland (D-NM) are the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. Some New England states have also sent their first black representatives to the capitol: Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Jahana Hayes (D-CT). While these are only a few faces of the newly revolutionized U.S. government, there is hope that much needed change will come with them.

The 116th session of Congress is coming in with new voices and a change of energy. Much of this change is credited to the way President Donald Trump has carried out his presidency. Many of the new faces of Congress have spoken about their decision to run based off of how they view our President. However, as evident with recent news, bringing change to Washington is not easy in the slightest. Republicans and Democrats continue to be more divided than ever, and there is worry that there is already too much divide in the Democratic party. Still, Americans hold out hope that this new Congress will unite America and provide for the people. It is expected that these new Congress members won’t stay quiet for long, and that their fiery demeanors that got them will elected will prompt change in our country.