Vanity Fair, via Martin Schoeller, captured this photo of six newly sworn in congresswomen. It represents the diversity of the 116th Congress, and is a clear result of the progressive movement during the 2018 midterm election.
Featured in this powerful photo are six freshman congresswomen, consisting of diverse ethnicities, religions, and nationalities. They are now a part of a House of Representatives that has a record number of women.
1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Ocasio-Cortez is possibly the most widely recognized of the group due to her social media presence, incredible primary upset victory against five-term congressman (fmr.) Rep Joe Crowley, being the youngest woman ever elected to congress, and the extensive news coverage from major networks.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, now commonly referred to as AOC, ran a grassroots campaign in her NY-14 district consisting of parts of the Bronx and Queens. She campaigned on a progressive platform of criminal justice reform, a Green New Deal, Medicare For All, a federal job guarantee, as well as other issues that are becoming increasingly popular among that wing of the Democratic Party.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has, in part, gained both a following and a distaste for her use of social media. She was the first member-elect to widely use instagram live and showcase the process of transitioning into the House of Representatives. AOC often live streams everyday tasks such as cooking, baking, and traveling, making her very relatable to her base.
2. Ayanna Pressley: The first black woman to be elected to congress from the state of Massachusetts also knocked off a long time Democratic incumbent during the 2018 primaries, 10-term congressman Michael Capuano of MA-7. She had the endorsement of President Obama, an eight-year tenure on Boston City's Council, and campaigned on women and family rights, healthcare, and community activism.
According to Congresswoman Pressley's campaign website, she ran on "eradicating poverty, building healthy communities, empowering women and girls, and ensuring that everyone regardless of where they are from or where they have been have the opportunity to fulfil their God-given potential."
Congresswoman Omar's candidacy was based on guaranteeing access to public education, providing healthcare coverage to all, and promoting peace & prosperity, according to her campaign website.
Along side her father, Rep. Omar returned to the airport she arrived in after leaving a refugee camp in Kenya 23 years ago.
4. Deb Haaland: Haaland joins Sharice Davids as the first two Native American women to be elected to congress. She is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, and pushed through law school as a single mom.
Congresswoman Haaland ran her New Mexico campaign on clean energy, healthcare, income inequality, and immigration reform. "We have all faced struggles, overcoming them made us fierce," Haaland wrote on her website.
5. Veronica Escobar: Escobar joined Sylvia Garcia in becoming the first two Latina women to be elected to congress from Texas, according to NBC News. She takes over the seat previously held by Texas Democratic primary winner Beto O'Rourke.
During 2018 Congresswoman Escobar highlighted issues affecting her district, consisting of border city El Paso — primarily focusing on trade, immigration reform, jobs, veterans, social issues, and healthcare.
6. Sharice Davids: Davids is not only the first Native American woman elected to congress (along with Rep. Deb Haaland), she is the first openly LGBTQ+ woman of color to ever be sworn in. She is "a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation...and is highly trained in martial arts," according to her website.
Congresswoman Davids used her background in law, and experience in the White House Fellowship, to drive her campaign on "vision, opportunity, and action." She pushed for support regarding campaign financing, infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
With 100 women being elected to Congress in 2018, the faces of these six is a clear representation of the diversity that is starting to transform the federal government. But the stories behind their faces are much more powerful. They pave the way for other citizens, regardless of their religion, gender, who they love, or where they come from, to believe someone like them is fighting for their best interest, well-being, and success.