American representation: The strides we’ve taken and the lengths we have to go

Through years of fighting and perseverance, American is finally starting to see more equal representation throughout the different levels of government. The 2020 election has proven how far we as a country have come, and how much more there is to go.

To achieve equal representation for all Americans many women and minorities ran for office in the 2020 election. The positions these people will fill are a result of years of hard work for equality in politics.
There is an estimated United States population of 331,002,651 people. There are only 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. Four hundred and thirty-five people to accurately represent the beliefs, the wants and the demographics of a huge nation.
According to the U.S census, the Latino/Hispanic community makes up about 18.5% of the entire U.S. population. Yet, only 38 seats are filled by those of Latino heritage or 9% of the entire house.
Females make up 50.8% of the population according to the U.S. census; however, in the 116th Congress, only 100 out of 435 representatives were female.
Representatives both state and federal are supposed to be the politicians most in touch with the people. This means advocating for all Americans, not just the current congressional majority – white males.
Even with the boggling incommensurate demographics, America’s 116th Congress was the most diverse to date, according to Pew Research Center.
Since 2001, Black POC have gained 20 seats, people of Asian ethnicity have gained 10 seats and Hispanic people have gained 24 seats. These are exponential strides in which not even 100 years ago would have been thought possible. We still have a long way to go, though, if we want to reach equal representation in the legislative, executive, and even judicial branches.
Representatives Ilhan Omar (Mn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Ny.), Rashida Tlaib (Mi.), and Ayanna Pressley (Ma.) are referred to as “The Squad” and are all female politicians of color who sat in the United States 116 congress. They have since been elected for the next U.S. Congress starting in January 2021.
“The Squad” stood up against many partisan issues in their time in congress thus far. They have called out and debated people within their own party on progressive civil rights in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. The women are also continually pushing for more vigorous environmental plans like the Green New Deal. Most recently, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the Senate for recessing the week before Thanksgiving in the midst of an economic crisis.
The congresswomen have also made bold statements on the unequal treatment of females and people of color in politics and in America that have needed to be said for a long time.
The freshman congress members recently gave advice to incoming progressive Cori Bush, Missouri’s first black congresswoman, on thrifted and sustainable business attire. The Reps spoke on how often they are criticized for their clothing just because of their gender.
While we continue to see an increase in equitable representation in the legislative branch, the 2020 election made history in the executive branch.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris is the first female and the first POC to serve in the Vice-President position.
Harris and President-elect Joe Biden have already begun appointing cabinet members, creating the so far most diverse cabinet to date. Biden and Harris have selected an all-female communications team and the first female secretary of treasury.
While these are important roles, several lawmakers and civil rights leaders are pushing Biden to choose more Black and Latino people for his remaining cabinet positions. When running for President, Biden promised a diverse administration that reflects the nation’s diversity. It is important that Biden fulfills this promise and that the nation sees more ethnic representation for the rectitude of all Americans.
Beyond the Presidential election, there are several other barrier-breaking elects to celebrate at all levels of government.
The state of Delaware elected Sarah McBride, the nation’s first-ever transgender state senator.
New Mexico elected all women of color to fill its seats in the House of Representatives.
Marilyn Stricklind became the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress and Washington’s first Black senator.
Georgia elected its first openly LGBT+ state senator.
These are just a few wins to be celebrated this election. America has much more work to do in the next four years and beyond. There is still a long way to go in order to have fair representation throughout the United States in national, state, and local government. If we continue to elect strong, diverse leaders, we are putting our country on the path to equity.