By: Luz Collective
Last night’s 2018 mid-term elections saw some historical firsts. These firsts included the election of the first Muslim women and Native American women to serve in Congress. The ascension of Native American women to Congress is especially remarkable given that the colonization and decimation of Native Americans began hundreds of years ago and only now are we seeing them rise to the highest levels of government.
The night also brought us historical firsts for Latinas. With 28 million Latinas living in the U.S., we still have yet to see Latinas proportionately represent their communities at all levels of government. The 2018 midterm elections resulted in some progress, however. Amongst them:
Veronica Escobar is a third-generation El Pasoan and served as a County Judge. She was elected to represent Texas’ 16th District, becoming the first Latina (along with Sylvia Garcia) to represent the State of Texas in Congress.
Sylvia Garcia is the eighth of ten children, and a social worker and legal aid lawyer. She served three terms in the Texas Senate before running to represent Texas’ 29th Congressional District. She joins Veronica Escobar in becoming the first Latinas to represent the state of Texas in Congress.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th Congressional District, became an instant media darling after an upset win over long-time incumbent Joe Crowley. She not only made history in defeating the number 4 Democrat in the House, but at 29 years old, went on to make history as the youngest woman elected to Congress.
Michelle Lujan-Grisham was a three-term Congresswoman from New Mexico before she decided to run for Governor of her state. Upon her election she became the first Democratic Latina Governor in the entire country.
Catalina Cruz became the first formerly undocumented person to be elected to the New York State Assembly. Catalina, an attorney, lived in the U.S. as an undocumented person before marrying her high school sweetheart and getting pro-bono legal assistance to gain legal status. She made history when she was elected to represent NY’s 39th Assembly District.