Why the 2020 Election Was Good News for Representation

Some good news came out of the 2020 general election, and it's all about representation, representation, representation. We saw big wins for women, BIPOC, the LGBTQ+ community, and more.

Better representation among our elected officials matters because it means the makeup of those key decision-makers more closely resembles the varying and diverse perspectives of the people they represent. More representation in government means better representation of what America actually looks like.

Come January 2021, the 117th U.S. Congress will have the most women legislators ever: 134, including 48 women of color, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. That breaks the previous record set in January 2019 of 127 women.

Notably, these numbers are far from where we need to be: Women make up more than half the U.S. population but will now still only make up 25 percent of Congress. We celebrate progress over perfection, though, and these numbers definitely have us on the right track.

illustration by carra sykes for The Goodnewspaper

Check out these representation wins from the 2020 election:

Kamala Harris will be the first woman in one of the top two U.S. executive offices and the first Black and Indian American vice president.

Washington elected the first Korean-American woman to Congress. Marilyn Strickland is also the first Black representative from the state.

Oklahoma voters elected the first non-binary and Muslim state House representative. Mauree Turner is one of the first non-binary lawmakers in the country.

Delaware voters elected the first transgender state senator in U.S. history. Sarah McBride won 86 percent of the vote in Delaware. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” she said.

New York voters elected the first two openly gay black men to Congress. They made history (times two!) by electing Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones.

Maryville, Tennessee elected a woman to City Council for the first time ever. Sarah Herron is the first woman to ever be elected to serve on the city’s Council.

Miami-Dade voters elected the first woman to serve as the county’s mayor, Daniella Levine Cava.

Missouri voters elected the state’s first Black Congresswoman. Cori Bush is Missouri’s first Black woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rhode Island voters elected their first Native American woman to the state House. A former teacher, Brianna Henries is the first Native American woman elected to the Rhode Island House.

Wyoming voters elected their first woman Senator. Cynthia Lummis will be the first woman to represent Wyoming in the U.S. Senate.

Article Details

November 20, 2020

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How To Hold Your Elected Officials Accountable

While not every representative is open-minded, a majority of representatives really do want to listen to their constituents, if for no other reason than to ensure that they get re-elected. So hold them accountable all term long so that they know what it will take to get your vote.
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