Increased Diversity in the 118th Congress
The next Congress will look a bit more like America than did the last.
CNN has the breakdown: A record number of women will serve in the next Congress.
Specifically, the re-elections of Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to the Senate and Mary Peltola (D-AK) to the House provided the needed threshold to top the 117th Congress in terms of female representation (albeit by a slim increase).
The 149 women who will serve in the US House and Senate in the 118th Congress will expand the ranks of female representation by just two members above the record set by this Congress.
Women will break an overall record in the House, with 124 taking office in January.
And not only will women of color break records in the 118th Congress, but within the House alone, there will also be a record number of both Latinas and Black women. There will be four more Latinas in the House for a total of 18 – the most ever – and one more Black woman, bringing their total from 26 to 27.
The piece has several graphs that are worth checking out.
And because I know that the question will pop into the heads of many readers, yes, Democrats have a more diverse caucus than do Republicans, but the overall trend is upward for both parties. As it pertains to females, there will be 42 Republican women and 107 Democratic women in the 118th.
There is a lengthy conversation to be had about representation and the degree to which ascriptive representation should be a goal in and of itself, but for the moment I will simply state that it better for a healthy democracy for more different types of persons to be represented than not. Therefore, I would count any movements in that direction as a positive.
Representative democracy? Absolutely past time.
And I’d like to see the trend continue.
Especially in a country as diverse as the US.
Part of this is a deliberate effort to nominate Black, Hispanic, and/or women candidates, especially in more purple states. Virginia has a Black Republican woman at lieutenant governor and a Hispanic Republican man as attorney general. And then there’s Herschel Walker.