March is Women’s History Month and right now the voices of women have never been louder in addressing a spectrum of issues in both the political and social arenas, while at the same time spearheading a Movement. The mid-term elections of 2018 created a seismic shift in the Congress of the United States. When the new class of elected Congressmen and Women increased the number of women legislators to 102, for the first time in American History 25.6% of the total U.S. Representatives in Congress were women. Women have been elected from 46 of the 50 states, which is not only historic but also phenomenal. Women are 51% of the total electorate and although we are clearly making progress, we have a long way to go before our representative majority is actually reflected in the governing bodies of the U.S. government, including proportional representation in all three branches of the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive.
A more proportional representation is where we are heading as a nation if we continue to make the 2018 reset election our guide. The idea of that is certainly terrifying to the mostly male, mostly white constituency of the conservative party. It is also visually dissonant and uncomfortable to the conservative white majority who are now being required to share the power with a more diverse and inclusive group of new legislators. Sharing power with men and women of color, with people from the LGBTQI community, with those who are practicing Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus, and those who are 1st generation descendants of non-white immigrants is proving to be a larger challenge than one might expect. Why? The government of the United States of America was founded by white men for white men and they have amassed great power and wealth through institutional policies, practices and legislation that has historically blocked access and denied equal rights and social justice to non-white Americans. Now after almost 250 years later, the time has come for America to live up to the essence and fundamental truths of its creed, that being Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and Justice for All. However, America’s legacy of racial inequality has created a clear and increasing divide between the races. Additionally, there is an ever-increasing economic disparity that has the United States spiraling towards oligarchy, which many believe we are currently embracing. This trend takes us even closer to trading in our Democracy for a Plutocracy. The existential question is could we actually lose our Democracy?
Stepping up to meet the challenges of this historic moment are these four incredible women. Newly elected to the U.S. Congress are Rashida Tlaib, Representative from Michigan, Ayanna Pressley, Representative from Massachusetts, IIhan Omar, Representative from Minnesota, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative from New York. Addressing racial and social injustice, and the economic and racial disparity that has literally created TWO Americas are at the center of the platforms for these four women and they show up everyday ready to make positive change towards making America the country it is capable of being. Change is hard and requires a fearlessness to speak truth to power that these women and others like them are prepared to do. Why? — Because these women are absolutely audacious enough to DO IT. And, the Audacity of US is exactly what we need right now!