November 7, 2018

Two years ago we woke up to an election that seemed unbelievable.  The popular vote was ignored, and our first woman Presidential candidate - who had been ridiculed, mocked and demeaned - was not the new President. We, like many of you, were alternately heartbroken,, shocked, nervous, and grieving. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, and the like was sitting in the oval office and seemed to be on the rise. We vowed to not be silent and instead took to the streets. Over the last two years, women found or reclaimed their voice and their power! We stepped up, spoke up, took action, ran for office and supported candidates we believed in.  

Last night, we witnessed history! We took back the U.S. and Minnesota House. Women flipped congressional districts across the country. For the first time in history, more than 100 women were elected in the U.S. midterm elections, winning more congressional seats than ever before.

And, while we were disappointed with some of the outcomes in Minnesota and in states like Florida and Texas, we also saw gender and racial barriers shattered around the country. Women across the U.S. made history.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Abby Finkenauer of Iowa are the youngest woman ever to serve in the U.S. Congress.

  • For the first time ever, Native American women will be represented in the U.S. Congress! Deb Haaland of the Laguna of Pueblo will represent New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Ho Chunk will represent Kansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sharice is also the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Kansas.

  • Black girl magic was also in full force around the country. As the first black women elected to Congress from their states, Jahana Hayes from Connecticut and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts will serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. In Illinois, Lauren Underwood will serve in the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating a 4-term GOP congressman, making her the youngest and only person of color to represent her district. Juliana Stratton became the first black lieutenant governor of Illinois. Jo Ann Hardesty became the first black woman elected to the Portland City Council. Rachel Rollins is the first black person and woman of color to serve as Suffolk County District Attorney (Boston). Letitia James was elected as the New York Attorney General, making her the first black woman to be elected to statewide office and the first black person to serve as attorney general.

  • The first two Muslim Americans were elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota’s own Ilhan Omar will also be the first Somali-American in Congress and Rashida Tlaib will be the first Palestinian-American to serve.

  • Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia won their seats for the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first Latinas Texas has ever elected to Congress. Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected New Mexico’s first Democratic Latina governor. Catalina Cruz made history as the first DREAMer elected to the New York State Assembly.

There were some big, progressive wins in Minnesota.

  • We took back control the Minnesota House of Representatives.

  • Minnesota will continue to be one of only 4 states to send 2 female senators, Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, to the U.S. Senate.

  • Angie Craig flipped MN District 02 by beating racist, misogynist, anti-LGBT incumbent Jason Lewis and will serve as the first lesbian mother in the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Dean Phillips flipped MN District 03, a seat previously held by conservatives for almost 60 years.

  • Women won state house seats around the state, including Kristin Bahner, who flipped MN District 34B.

  • For the first time, Minnesota has elected a Native American woman as Lieutenant Governor—Peggy Flanagan!

  • Keith Ellison will become Minnesota’s next attorney general, making him the first Muslim to serve as a state attorney general and hold a statewide office and the first person of color to serve as Minnesota attorney general.

  • The Minnesota State House of Representatives has also become more reflective of our communities, with the election of Aisha Gomez and Somali-Americans Mohamud Noor and Hodan Hassan.

  • Local elections also showed signs of progress, including the first people of color to serve on the Hennepin County Board—Irene Fernando and Angela Conley, the first Latina mayor in the state—Maria Regan Gonzalez, and the first black woman elected to the Osseo Public School Board— Kelsey Dawson Walton. There will also be a more diverse and representative Brooklyn Center City Council.

Representation matters, women’s voices matter, and thanks to the incredibly hard work of organizers and all of you, we will see a more diverse representation in Minnesota and across the country. To the women who ran for office but lost, we see you, we love you and we will be here for you WHEN you are ready to run again.

Today we celebrate, we rejoice, we recover and we continue to love one another. Tomorrow the next phase begins. We’ve only just begun! Here are a few quick steps to prepare as we step forward together:

  1. If you haven’t yet, sign up for our mailing list here:  

  2. Get ready to HIT THE STREETS on January 19th 2019. RSVP here and follow the event on Facebook here.

  3. Looking for a way to get more involved? Join your reSisters at 2 pm this Sunday at Central High School as we begin planning the 2019 Women’s March Minnesota event. RSVP here or on our Facebook event page here.

  4. Join us as a donor. Consider a sustaining donation of $20.19 a month. 100% of the money donated will allow us to keep fighting for the rights of all people and all Minnesotans. Donate here!

Hear UsArlene Mathison