“The Democratic Caucus will bring to the 113th Congress the first Caucus where the majority is women and minorities. Our new Caucus will celebrate the great diversity and strength of our nation,” Nancy Pelosi said in an email to Democrats.
2012 marks many positive, progressive historic occurrences: a black man wins the presidency for the second time, the first openly gay female Senator (Tammy Baldwin, WI) is elected, marriage equality gets a green light in four new states (MD, ME, MN, WA), and the new Democratic caucus is made up of primarily women and minorities. To wit: 61 women, 43 African Americans, 27 Hispanics, 10 Asian Americans, and 6 LGBT Americans.
In January 2013, the Democratic caucus will most adequately represent the actual populace, in terms of demographics. This is a huge step for American equality and democracy. Traditionally, [Caucasian] males have vastly outnumbered both women and minorities in Congress and our policies on issues like reproductive rights, health care, and immigration often reflect that. Until very recently, women and minorities have not been well represented: women outnumber men overall and the minority population is increasing exponentially, set to outgrow their minority status in just a few short decades.
For those keeping track, the U.S. Senate also added two women to their ranks and women will be holding all the top government positions in New Hampshire, making it a first for any U.S. state. All of this was made possible by new record turnouts at the polls, despite rightwing-driven voter suppression efforts. Now this is progress!
Stacy Mergenthal is an activist for progressive causes and voice for the working class. She currently resides in Missouri with her family.