Voters have elected a historic amount of ethnically and sexually diverse candidates, bringing the promise of American equality and representation closer to reality.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.–With its mission to advance systems thinking and the Triple Bottom Line, the California Green Academy (“CalGreen”) celebrates voters’ historic election of the record number of female and LGBTQIA candidates, including the first female Muslim and Native American members of Congress, as well as, the nation’s first openly gay governor and California’s first gay statewide official.
• Kansas’ Sharice Davids and New Mexico’s Deb Haaland become the first Native American women elected to Congress; Davids also identifies as a lesbian, making her Kansas’ first openly LGBTQIA member of Congress.
• Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar become the first Muslim women in Congress; Omar is also the first Somali-American member, having come to the U.S. as a refugee, twenty years ago.
• Representative Marsha Blackburn becomes the first female senator to represent Tennessee.
• Texas’ Veronica Escobar and State Senator Sylvia Garcia become the state's first two Hispanic women in Congress.
• Representative Kristi Noem will become South Dakota's first female governor.
• Colorado Representative Jared Polis will become the nation’s first openly gay governor.
• (Update) Kyrsten Sinema has become Arizona’s first female, and the nation’s first bisexual Senator.
• In California, former Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis becomes the first female Lieutenant Governor.
• (Update) State Senator Ricardo Lara becomes California’s first openly gay statewide official, elected as the first Latino Insurance Commissioner.
“Tuesday’s election results demonstrate that the diversity of this nation must be reflected in its elected officials, and I am very proud, excited, and looking forward to seeing the promise of ‘justice for all’ and equality finally manifesting itself,” stated Greg Justice, CalGreen’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CEO).
Overall, women were Tuesday’s winners, with 124 elected to Congress and governorships: 102 to the House, 13 to the Senate, and 9 as governors. Further, 45 women of color (36% of female winners) were elected: 43 to the House, 1 to the Senate, and 1 as governor. (Sources: CNN, HRC, and LA Times.)
Further information on female members of Congress is available from the Congressional Research Service, the national nonprofits She Should Run and IGNITE, and the global nonprofit Catalyst, and information regarding LGBTQIA public officials can be found at the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign–the nation’s largest and oldest LGBTQ[IA] civil rights organization (1980).
A PDF of this release can be downloaded here.
*LGBTQIA = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual / Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, and Ally.
+Updated 19 November to include Kyrstan Sinema’s election as Arizona’s first female and the nation’s first bisexual Senator 2018; Ricardo Lara’s election as Insurance Commissioner and California’s first openly gay statewide official; as well as, updated election results.