A record number of women have filed to run for Congress in 2020, surpassing 2018 which led to the highest number of women ever represented in the US Congress. This is a trend in the right direction, yet the proportion of women in Congress is still far below where it should be. While women are around half of the US population, just under a quarter of the seats in the House of Representatives are held by women. This percentage is far below that of other western democracies and even below the international average. The United States is a country said to be founded on principles of liberty and equality. How then, are we still so far from equal representation in 2020?
A legislature needs to mirror the population in order to effectively represent the experiences and views of the people they serve. The US population is diverse and becoming more so, yet representation in Congress is lagging behind in embodying this reality. Congress is disproportionately male and white compared to that demographics’ share of the country’s population. The understanding and perspectives of the underrepresented groups is lacking. It needs to be not just men or not just women in Congress, but a fair representation of both, for both are affected by the passage of laws. Imagine if it were known that the next 45 presidents would all be women and after about 200 years, a man running for president would be considered focused on “identity politics.” Women’s patience is taken for granted. Since there is yet again no chance for a woman in the White House this election cycle, the least we can do is work to equalize women’s representation in Congress.
Quinn Nystrom understands the need for representation to mirror the population--it was part of what motivated her run for Baxter City Council. When Quinn was elected to city council, she was the youngest member and only female at the time. In her congressional campaign, Quinn has secured the DFL endorsement and is unopposed for the primary, and so will become the first woman ever on the ticket for the general election in Minnesota’s 8th congressional district.
We need capable advocates like Quinn Nystrom in Congress to help represent those who have been underrepresented for far too long. Quinn Nystrom is the first woman of the major parties on the ballot for Minnesota’s 8th district, and she can also be the first woman to represent the 8th in Congress. She is qualified. She is driven. She would help Congress better represent the American people. I hope you will join me in supporting Quinn Nystrom.
Karen D. Lucachick