In 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving white women the right to vote.…
Black Herstory: Recent and Current Congresswomen
As we wrap up Black History Month and enter Women’s History Month, Gender on the Ballot would like to recognize some of today’s trailblazing Congresswomen in our final installment of our Black Herstory series. You can check out the first installment on Black women Suffragists here, and the second, on Black women in the Civil Rights movement, here.
Congresswoman Cori Bush is a registered nurse and former community activist representing Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Upon her election, Congresswoman Bush became the first woman of color and first Black woman to represent Missouri. Congresswoman Bush was inspired to run for office following the Ferguson Uprising in 2014. Congresswoman Bush uses her background as a nurse to advance policies that work to provide guaranteed healthcare, like Medicare For All.
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland represents Washington’s 10th Congressional District. Congresswoman Strickland is the first African-American to represent Washington state in Congress, and the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. Before her time in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Strickland served as Mayor of Tacoma, where she focused on developing the city’s infrastructure and providing jobs for the city’s occupants.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley has represented Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District since 2018. Congresswoman Pressley is the first woman of color and the first Black woman to be elected to Congress for Massachusetts. Prior to this, Congresswoman Pressley served on the Boston City Council, becoming the first woman of color on the Council. During her time on Boston’s City Council, Congresswoman Pressley focused on creating jobs in disenfranchised neighborhoods, in addition to advocating for strengthening pathways for teen parents to graduate high school.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. Elected in 2018, Congresswoman Omar became the first African refugee to become a member of Congress, as well as the first woman of color to represent Minnesota. During her time in Congress, Congresswoman Omar has served as the Assistant Minority Leader, working with the following committees: Law & Data Practices Policy, Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy and Finance, and State Government Finance.
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood represents Illinois’s 14th Congressional District. Upon her election to Congress in 2018, Congresswoman Underwood became the youngest Black woman to serve in the House. Before her time in Congress, Congresswoman Underwood was a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),working to prevent and prepare for public health emergencies.
Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick represents Florida’s 20th Congressional District. Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick is the first Haitian-American Democrat in Congress. Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick ran her campaign on economic development, healthcare expansion, social justice and immigration reform. She recently won a special election to Congress on January 11, 2022.
Former Congresswoman Mia Love represented the Utah’s 4th Congressional District from 2015 to 2019. Former Congresswoman Love is the first Haitian-American person to be elected to Congress and the first Black woman to be elected to Congress as a Republican. After her time in Congress, former Congresswoman Love became a political commentator with CNN.