Media Round Up: Week of February 21st

Happy Friday! Welcome to our Media Round Up. Each week we’re collecting and sharing our favorite gender + politics stories. Here’s what caught our eye this week:

Many of Biden’s nominees of color run into turbulence in the Senate

Annie Linskey, The Washington Post

Activists have raised concerns that many of President Biden’s Cabinet nominees who are people of color are experiencing more issues during their confirmation hearings than their white counterparts. Neera Tanden, who is Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget and who would be the first Indian American in that role, is facing harsh scrutiny in her confirmation process due to past tweets. “We are concerned with what seems like foot-dragging and an effort to slow down the confirmation process of eminently qualified individuals and the fact that these nominees are women, people of color, sons or daughters of immigrants and there seems to be a pattern that is very troubling,” said Janet Murguía, the president of Latino advocacy group UnidosUS.

You can read the full article here.

The U.S. Is Failing Mothers of Color—But Massachusetts Is Fighting Back

Anna Dragunas, Ms. Magazine

Massachusetts lawmakers have passed a new bill to address the racial inequalities in the state’s maternal health system. The bill, named An Act to Reduce Racial Inequities in Maternal Health, will create a legislative committee to examine and combat systemic racism and develop strategies to reduce maternal mortality, as well as any health conditions worsened by pregnancy and childbirth. Other states that have established similar committees have decreased their maternal mortality rate by anywhere from 20 to 50 percent.

You can read the full article here.

Democratic senators ask Biden admin to create office focusing on reproductive health and wellbeing

Shefali Luthra, The 19th

Democratic senators across the country are asking the Biden-Harris administration to establish an Office of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Wellbeing. The office would focus on reproductive health issues and combat the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on pregnancy-related health. The letter, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand says, “Reproductive justice for all means addressing issues of health care access; economic inequality; discrimination based on race, gender identity, and sexual orientation; food security; housing stability; environmental justice; immigrant’s rights; disability rights; and so much more.”

You can read the full article here.

‘Turning point’: Women of color increasingly leading Boston

Steve LeBlanc, ABC News

The city of Boston is experiencing a political shift. With Mayor Marty Walsh on track to be Biden’s new Labor Secretary, Boston is on track to having its first woman and person of color mayor. This shift was foreshadowed early last year when women and people of color comprised a majority of the Boston city council. And two years before that when the state elected Rep. Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman to serve Congress for Massachusetts.

You can read the full article here.

Why state legislatures are still very white — and very male

Renuka Rayasam, Nolan D. McCaskill, Beatrice Jin and Allan James Vestal, Politico

A POLITICO analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures found that progress in diversifying statehouses has been critically slow, in a stark contrast from the U.S. House of Representatives were women and people of color are serving in historic numbers. States where legislative offices don’t look like the people who live there can enact policies that don’t reflect what matters to voters. “The more that the body that is making the laws is reflective of the communities they serve, the more inclined those communities are to be involved,” said Nevada Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, the state’s first woman Senate majority leader. Since reaching the status of the country’s first and only female majority legislature, Nevada has raised its minimum wage, mandated paid sick leave, and added numerous cancer health protections to the law.

You can read the full article here.


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