Next year’s midterm elections will be a huge chance for the country to resist. In 2018, 33 seats out of 100 in the U.S. Senate will be open for a six-year term, and the elections for the U.S. House, governor’s office, and other state/local positions will take place. According to the Center for American Women And Politics, there are only 38 women of color in the 115th Congress (out of 535). Needless to say, it’s time to push harder to make space for marginalized voices.
Bitch has gathered a list of 11 women of color running for office who empower and advocate for marginalized communities in their work and daily lives. These women have revived the engagement of their respective communities through their accomplishments and aspirations.
1. Hiral Tipirneni (Arizona’s 8th Congressional district)
Hiral Tipirneni is a physician, cancer research advocate, and first-generation American running for Congress to represent Arizona’s 8th district. She believes strongly in expanding medicare and workforce training programs, affordable childcare, and increased transparency in Congress. Her educational background in public education and medical school informed her advocacy for increased public school funding and affordable higher education.
2. Dr. Mai Khanh Tran (California’s 39th Congressional district)
Mai Khanh Tran is a physician with a background in science research running as a first-time candidate for California’s 39th district. She came to United States as a refugee from Vietnam when she was 9, and is dedicated to fighting for equitable access to healthcare and reproductive rights.
3. Aruna Miller (Maryland’s 6th Congressional district)
Aruna Miller is a badass civil engineer running for Maryland’s 6th district. As a first-generation American and a working mom, she is focused on improving the lives of working families, women, and children through education reform, small business advocacy, and equitable infrastructure.
4. Fayrouz Saad (Michigan’s 11th Congressional district)
Fayrouz Saad is running for Michigan’s 11th district. She believes strongly in reforming foster care, immigration advocacy, and environmental activism. She is dedicated to serving immigrants, working as Michigan’s first Director of Detroit’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and helped launch Emgage-USA MI, an organization that works to promote civic and electoral participation within the Muslim American community.
5. Angela Angel (Maryland’s District 25 State Delegate)
Angela Angel advocates for women and children by dedicating her professional career to the improvement of public health, the security of affordable housing, and the durability of public safety. For the 2018 election, she is running for Maryland’s District 25 State Delegate. Her work has included proposing HB803 - Education and Definition of Abuse, which would have required the School Board of Education to enforce domestic violence prevention and response in the local curriculum. In regard to Angela’s work with communities of color, she was appointed to positions for the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (N.O.B.E.L. Women) and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL).
6. Mazie Hirono (U.S. Senate, Hawaii)
Mazie Hirono lost the race for Hawaii’s governor in 2002, however the event marked one of her nationwide impacts. She was the Democratic Party’s first female nominee, worked in Congress, and was the first Asian American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Last year, Mazie was diagnosed with stage-four kidney cancer. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, she says, “Of course I will be running for re-election in 2018. Having cancer sucks, but I know that there are people in our country facing major health issues every single day.”
7. Virginia Madueño (U.S. House, California)
Virginia Madueño’s work highlights the impacts of social issues in California and the San Joaquin Valley, including environmental advocacy and the maintenance of transportation infrastructures. As the first American-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, she has claimed her identity through her academic pursuits and professional career. Virginia trained at Harvard National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) and started a business that led her to receive the the Anna Maria Arias scholarship. The 2018 Congress election is her next step in representing the families of her district.
8. Stacey Abrams (Governor, Georgia)
If Stacey Abrams wins the 2018 elections in Georgia, she would be the nation’s first African American female governor. She is already the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. Between 2014 and 2016, Abrams founded the New Georgia Project, which registered more than 200,000 voters of color. She has worked extensively in civil rights, education, and economic opportunities for communities of color. In a May 2017 article for the New York Times, she stated, “There is a hunger for representation. There is a desire to make certain the state starts to serve everyone.”
9. Debra Haaland (U.S. House, New Mexico)
Debra Haaland led New Mexico in the 2016 presidential election as the first Native American woman in the country to chair a state party. “Because I have experiences that my culture and history have given me, I recognize when Native folks have been Trumped,” she wrote in the 2016 article “Trump’s very use of Pocahontas’ name is disrespectful.” She protested at Standing Rock and authored SB 482, a bill to allow local tribes to receive in-state college tuition. Haaland won the 2018 Congress election, making her the nation’s first Native American congresswoman.
10. Lucy McBath (U.S. House, Georgia)
Lucy McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed at a gas station in 2012. Since his death, she has been fighting for common-sense gun legislation and gun violence prevention. Her work includes acting as the faith outreach leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and organizing her foundation, Champion In The Making Legacy. She has also served as one of the “Mothers of the Movement” for Hillary Clinton’s gun-violence prevention platform in the 2016 presidential election. Lucy plans to continue her activism by running in the 2018 election for Georgia’s District 37 House of Representatives.
11. Sema Hernandez (U.S. Senate, Texas)
Sema Hernandez is challenging incumbent Ted Cruz on a platform of universal healthcare, livable minimum wage, an end to private prisons, along with reform up and down the ladder—from police reform to immigration reform. The mother of four was inspired to run for office after the 2016 presidential elections to “break the cycle of injustice across the board.”