Real Elec­tion Wave Was Pink

The Signal - - Opinion - Martha MICHAEL #WETOO Martha Michael is a con­tribut­ing writer for The Sig­nal.

While po­lit­i­cal junkies ar­gued about the size and color of Tues­day’s wave at the polls, the in­dis­putable Elec­tion Night tsunami that washed ashore was a very bright pink.

With more than 100 fe­males elected to Congress, the land­scape is chang­ing – and it’s chang­ing in a big way.

When 1992 was called the “Year of the Woman,” 30-plus fe­males were elected to Congress. But this week made his­tory when more than 100 women were elected, bring­ing the fe­male to­tal serv­ing in Congress to around 120.

Many women would like to scrap the “year of the woman” moniker, be­cause it’s a dated con­cept – elect­ing fe­males should be rou­tine.

I did some exit polling, invit­ing feed­back from a va­ri­ety of women from dif­fer­ent parts of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. And un­like the pres­i­dent, not one of them called me an “en­emy of the peo­ple,” nor did they list race “losers” by name.

That’s the beauty of this record num­ber of women elected Tues­day. It gives fe­males the chance to demon­strate lead­er­ship that doesn’t tear down op­po­nents, in­sult, de­mean or bully.

Said Re­becca of Va­len­cia, “I am very wor­ried about con­tin­u­ing clashes be­tween Repub­li­cans and Democrats. What has be­come of ci­vil­ity? It seems as if a lack of ci­vil­ity, lack of re­spect for dif­fer­ing per­spec­tives and lack of deco­rum all con­tinue to es­ca­late.”

Angie, a 14-year res­i­dent of Santa Clarita, said about the re­sults, “I am happy to see all the newly ap­pointed women from the elec­tion. Change is good, in­clud­ing a bit of gen­der change. I’m happy to see Gavin New­som win, as I have been a fan for many years. It was ex­cit­ing to see Katie Hill win; a grass­roots cam­paign can ac­tu­ally be suc­cess­ful! It’s also good to see some di­ver­sity in gen­eral, per­haps a bet­ter re­flec­tion of the coun­try we live in.”

Sa­man­tha, who grew up in Santa Clarita and lives in the San Fer­nando Val­ley, was per­son­ally touched by the re­sults: “As a work­ing mother of three won­der­ful chil­dren, two of whom are bright, ca­pa­ble, strong young women, I was moved to tears by the num­ber of women voted into of­fice. As a mother to a self-iden­ti­fy­ing queer per­son, I was fur­ther im­pressed by the num­ber of LGBTQ+ per­sons elected. I truly be­lieve that we are liv­ing in a time of great change and progress, and as is the case with most sig­nif­i­cant changes, we are also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing great pains as we step into this new­ness. Women and mi­nori­ties NEED a voice in this coun­try, and yes­ter­day showed the power wielded by th­ese groups of peo­ple, and those who sup­port us! Now, we can help fa­cil­i­tate the right kinds of changes: the ones that in­crease equal­ity, and are best for ALL peo­ple, not just the his­tor­i­cally rep­re­sented. Our next steps are to iden­tify the sys­tems of op­pres­sion and dis­man­tle them to­gether. I have hope for this coun­try now and pray that we can keep up this mo­men­tum! As my daugh­ter stated last night: ‘Wel­come to the Pink Wave!’”

An early sup­porter of Katie Hill, An­drea from Sau­gus also ap­peared in a TV ad for Christy Smith. She re­sponded with: “I’m very happy that Katie Hill won the con­gres­sional seat for our dis­trict. So many peo­ple worked so hard to flip this dis­trict and all of our ef­forts paid off. It is very ex­cit­ing to see that a record num­ber of women have won their races na­tion­wide. This is a sign of things to come. Women are just get­ting started.

“I am proud that Cal­i­for­nia will con­tinue to lead the na­tion in in­no­va­tion – eco­nomic growth, the cli­mate change fight, hu­man rights, and health care ini­tia­tives. Demo­cratic con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will put a much-needed check on Trump... How­ever, the fight for the repub­lic is far from over. Trump just fired Jeff Ses­sions in a trans­par­ent ef­fort to in­ter­fere in the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It is my hope that in the next two years Democrats and Repub­li­cans that have had enough of Trump’s ex­trem­ist agenda can work to­gether for the greater good of the Amer­i­can peo­ple and the world.”

Ash­ley, a young Santa Clarita woman, said: “I can’t be any more proud of the amaz­ing women who stepped for­ward to rep­re­sent our com­mu­ni­ties. Women like Katie Hill and Christy Smith have done an out­stand­ing job dis­play­ing the power of women and the ca­pa­bil­i­ties we have. With Katie’s vic­tory comes the thought of ‘what next?’ be­cause there’s so much more to be done as well. But Katie’s win gave me the hope to con­tinue to be­lieve in what a mass of peo­ple can do and the strength of women. So, as a woman, I am ut­terly pleased with the re­sults of the con­gres­sional race here in the 25th be­cause it not only em­pow­ers women but gives us more rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Congress. We rep­re­sent more than half of the pop­u­la­tion in our coun­try; it’s time Congress re­flected that.”

Patty from the SCV League of Women Vot­ers re­sponded: “The midterm elec­tion was af­fected greatly by women; how­ever, I want to pref­ace that by em­pha­siz­ing ‘young’ women. I be­lieve that we are see­ing an awak­en­ing among Mil­len­nial women who now re­al­ize that if so­cial change is go­ing to oc­cur, their voices must be heard. Th­ese women are see­ing how a sys­tem has turned a blind eye to the so­cial causes they em­brace, as well as ig­nored and triv­i­al­ized their con­cerns. This is about to change. Young women have only just be­gun to mo­bi­lize for the 2020 elec­tion.”

While some may call it a trickle rather than a wave, our elected lead­ers are all in deep now. And th­ese new fe­male leg­is­la­tors are bound to make more than just a splash.

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