A Night of Historic Wins

On November 6th, over 100 women were elected to Congress, more than any in history. I know so many of you in the Ladies Get Paid community helped get them there. You marched, you knocked on doors, you called, you donated. You showed up at the polls and you showed up for your sisters.

Major “firsts” include:

  • Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas are the first Native American women elected to Congress

  • Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will be the first Muslim women in the House

  • Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia became the first Latinas to represent the state in Congress.

  • Jahana Hayes of Connecticut and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts also became the first women of color elected to represent their respective states

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, both 29, will become the youngest women to serve in the House

Speaking of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she came to the first Ladies Get Paid workshop I ever organized. Led by Megan Hellerer, the class was called, “Get Unstuck”, all about career transitions. Alexandria was unhappy working at a restaurant and knew she wanted to do more. She wanted to give back. Fast forward one year. I hosted a town hall called “Reinvention” where more than 100 women gathered to share stories of starting over, of remaining who they could be and what they could do.

Alexandria stood up. In front of everyone she declared, “I’m from the Bronx. I’m a first-generation immigrant. I’ve always wanted to run for office but people who look like me don’t run for office. But I think I’m going to do it.”Everyone burst into cheers and I cried. We knew something special had just happened. A year later, Alexandria became youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

You can accomplish more than you think you can. Just stand up and declare it.

Claire Wasserman