Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in Massachusetts’ history, posted a photo on Twitter on Thursday night that’s since gotten more than 27,000 likes.
It’s a photo of Pressley along with other new freshmen in Congress who made history in November’s midterm elections — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas ). The women are pictured in the Longworth House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol.
Pressley, who was also the first Black woman to serve on Boston’s city council, said in her tweet: “Album dropping 1/3/19”
The women represent the changing face of Congress and statehouses across the country.
At age 29, Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina, is the youngest woman elected to Congress. She, has over 1 million Twitterfollowers, as many as the other incoming 60 Democratic freshman House members — combined. Ocasio-Cortez uses her social media accounts to connect with people around the country.
Omar, the first Somali-American in Congress, is a former refugee who spent the last four years as a state legislator. She along with Rashida Tlaib (not pictured), are the first Muslim congresswomen.
Haaland and Davids are the first Native American congresswomen. Davids, who is an attorney and former MMA fighter, is the first lesbian congresswoman from Kansas. She is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation based in Wisconsin. Haaland is a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe. She was the first woman to chair a state political party in New Mexico.
Escobar, a former county judge, won her race in Beto O’Rourke’s former district in El Paso. She along with Sylvia Garcia (not pictured) are the first Latina congresswomen from Texas.
The women in the photo are trailblazers, yet much more needs to be done in terms of representation of people of color and women in Congress — in both parties.
The 116th Congress is only 23 percent women, only up 19 percent in the 115th Congress. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women make up almost 51 percent of the country’s population, but hold less than a quarter of the seats in Congress.
Over the decades, Congress has been slowly growing more diverse, but consistently lags behind the nation as a whole.
Latinos, Asians and Blacks — the largest minority ethnic groups — are significantly under-represented in Congress.