Celebrating diversity as record number of women heading to Washington



By the Editorial Board

As of Tuesday, a record number of women are heading to the U.S. house to represent this country in a historical display of diversity and many “firsts” for women in this country.

In 2018, “The Year of the Woman,” we at the Kernel are celebrating a more representative House race and and the beauty of female leadership.

Our newsroom is run by a female majority (though we have really talented men on our staff as well!) and as such, we are excited to see women standing up and running for office. They’re not only running, they are winning elections across this nation, sometimes in the face of all odds. Young women have defeated long-standing incumbents as our nation thirsts for fresh ideas and millennial representatives.

This election, U.S. citizens elected the youngest congresswoman in our country’s history, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York’s 14th District. Before her, the woman who held the youngest congresswoman distinction was Elise Stefanik, also from New York, who was elected at age 30 in 2014.

We also saw the first Native American woman elected to Congress, Sharice Davids from Kansas; the first Muslim woman, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan; and the first Latina congress members from Texas, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia.

We saw Maine’s first woman governor, Janet Mills, elected as well as Iowa’s first elected female governor Kim Reynolds and South Dakota’s first woman governor Kristi Noem.

We saw Tennessee’s first woman senator, Marsha Blackburn, elected, and Arizona’s first woman senator, Kyrsten Sinema.

These women represent both dominant political parties, various religions and various skin colors. But, most importantly, they represent a more inclusive Congress and a government that looks more like its constituents: diverse and beautiful.

This year, we are seeing many “firsts,” but we still have more to go. We have a lot of ground to make up and we need more women in leadership positions in this country and in our local government. We are seeing this in a small but encouraging doses this election, and it’s better late than never.

We hope to see even more women in the future rise up and be willing to lead in local, statewide and national positions. We want to see even more female candidates in the future (and female voters). Let’s celebrate the women heading to represent us in Washington now, but let’s keep striving for even more female representation in the future. Only then, when Americans embrace leadership diversity, can we reach our full potential as a nation.