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HISTORIC DAY

Our New Congress

Fifty years ago today, Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American congresswoman in
U.S. history.

Today, another historic moment: the swearing-in of the most diverse Congress to date.

 

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Chisholm’s Legacy

“When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the twentieth century and who dared to be a catalyst of change.”

Although Chisholm was both the first African-American congresswoman (representing Brooklyn, NY) and the first to run for president, she wished to be remembered for the causes she championed, like education & economic equality - not the records she set.
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Congressional Context:

21% of the 116th Congress are people of color including 44 Latinos & the first Muslim, Somali-American & Native American congresswomen.

Increasing racial diversity is a trend. The 115th Congress sworn in 2016 also made history as *the most diverse to-date* (so did the 114th Congress) as our gov’t moves closer to reflecting U.S. demographics.

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Why Women Reps Matter:

A record-breaking 127 women will hold 23% of the 535 seats in 116th Congress.

Previously, women never held more than 112 seats.

Six states (AZ, CA, MN, NH, NV, WA) will have all female Senators.

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Even the partial gov't shutdown will make history today when the new Congress is sworn in. Today will mark the first time ever a government shutdown has extended into two different Congresses - the 115th and the 116th.

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