Energy, Creativity, and Commitment Already Visible in the 116th Session of the House of Representatives
The new Members of Congress already are making a splash, and WNDC is proud of its successful efforts to bring so many into office. This was powerfully visible at the reception WNDC held for women Members of Congress. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA-14) recounted how she spearheaded the effort to revamp the sexual harassment policies of Congress, which were just finalized after languishing for years. Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-WA-08), a pediatrician, noted how, every day since the new House was sworn in, it had passed and sent up to the Senate some version of a bill to end the shutdown. After failing to get a response, the newly-elected Members of Congress went as a body over to the Senate with a letter to Senator McConnell urging him to act on a solution.
These actions seem to represent the new House dynamic. Most of these new Members of Congress appear down to earth, up on all the issues, and together as a freshman class – particularly the women. Such teamwork will be crucial, not only for delivering votes on important issues, but, more importantly, for conceiving of and having the courage and collective power to try new approaches in this time of deep division.
Of course, even though in office only a month, these new Members of Congress already are having to think about their next elections. WNDC is gearing up to support them — and others — once again. When asked about what support they need, Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) urged people to get involved in campaigns directly, but also to boost Members of Congress’s social media presence. Poignantly, noting the extra barriers facing women in politics, she thanked the women who’d brought dinners over for her, so that she could “feel like I’m still able to be a mom.” Here’s to more moms in Congress!
–Melinda Burrell, Co-Chair, Elections/GOTV Task Force