Black women and queer candidates reign supreme over Republicans to take back the House.
Democrats around the country watched with bated breath as they awaited the results of their local elections. While threats of voter suppression loomed, tensions were high. However, Dems can celebrate the day with monumental gains in racial and gender diversity.
Lauren Underwood is the youngest black women to run for Congress in 2018. A registered nurse in Illinois, she will represent the 14th Congressional district. Jahana Hayes, a former state and national teacher of the year, has emerged victorious in her race against GOP candidate Manny Santos to take the seat in Connecticut. Ayanna Pressley will represent Massachusetts as the first black congresswoman.
“This was the first election ever where white men were not a majority of the Democratic candidates for the House and white men were still 3/4 of the Republican candidates.” Ronald Brownstein, CNN Senior Political Analyst
First Native American Women
Additions to the House include, for the first time ever, two Native American women. Sharice Davids, of the Ho-Chunk Nation, won in Kansas to replace a GOP representative. A former MMA fighter, Davids makes history as Kansas’ first openly gay rep. Deb Haaland, the former chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, will occupy the seat Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham vacated to run for governor.
First Muslim Women
Michigan is home to the largest Muslim population in the United States. As a Detroit native, I could not be prouder to announce that Rashida Tlaib will be representing the state. Even better, is that she will be occupying the seat left by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who vacated after sexual misconduct allegations.
Kate Brown is the first bisexual and openly queer person to be elected governor. She will represent Oregon and joining her is Jared Polis. Polis is now the first openly gay member of Congress and he represents Colorado.
Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia are the first Hispanic women to make it to Congress from Texas. South Dakota has elected Kristi Noem as the states first female governor. While not yet declared, Arizona looks to appoint Krysten Sinema however, she is in a tight race with GOP Rep. Martha McSally.
Overall, women now hold over 100 positions in the House of Representatives. The future is female!
Trump Administration Cuts Protections for Transgender Americans
On Friday, the Trump administration announced it would be rolling back an Obama-era rule protecting transgender Americans from discrimination in health care.
Under the Obama administration, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on one’s gender identity. Under a revised version of the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce Section 1557 “by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology” beginning in mid-August. In other words, doctors and insurance companies receiving funding from the Fed can legally refuse any patient needing transition-related medical care.
Of course, as quickly as the rule was finalized, many LGBTQ+ organizations including the ACLU,announced intentions to sue the Trump administration over this new language. “The Trump admin has issued a rule that will embolden health care discrimination against transgender people.. All while a global pandemic is occurring.” said the ACLU in a tweet.
Forget a global pandemic, ACLU. Friday’s announcement came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, a mass shooting at a popular Florida gay nightclub that left 49 people and the shooter dead.
President Trump has made it clear how he feels about the nearly 1.4 million transgender people in this country, his fellow Americans – he doesn’t feel anything.
Donald Trump to Host Rally in Tulsa,OK on Junteenth
Yes, you read that right. Donald Trump is returning to the 2020 campaign trail with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19th. It’s hard to say that this is just a coincidence when both the day and location mark significant times in Black history.
Tulsa, Oklahoma was the home of the Black Wall Street Massacre in 1921 where a white mob looted and burned businesses. According to Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, it’s believed that as many as 300 people died from that travesty.
June 19th (Juneteenth) is also an important day in Black history because it celebrates the official end of slavery in the United States.
We can’t ignore how calculated this is for Trump have his first rally since COVID-19 here. Especially with race being a hot topic in the country as we speak with #BlackLiveMatter at the forefront.
Roger Stone Found Guilty on All Counts
Roger Stone has been found guilty on all seven counts by a federal jury. After lying about his part in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election conspiracy, the former political consultant could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Once tied to the likes of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Roger Stone, 67, was found guilty by a jury of nine women and three men of his involvement in the Russian interference plot. As part of the indictment led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Roger Stone was charged for one count each of obstruction and witness tampering, along with five counts of false statements. Stone’s guilty verdict aids further proof to the truth millions have known all along — The Trump campaign was heavily invested in obtaining the files hacked by Russia and made public by WikiLeaks to derail the 2016 election in his favor.
While Roger Stone will not be sentenced until February 6th, 2020, he will face steep penalties for his crimes. Witness tampering alone could land the sexagenarian in prison for up to twenty years. However, the other charges he is facing add up to five-year terms. Prosecutors argued that since Stone has been out on bond before and during the proceedings, he should immediately be thrown in jail. Ultimately, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is allowing Stone to remain free provided he meets the terms of a gag order.
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