S2 E8: Grab 'em by the Midterms
Helu electorate listeners this genteel Skinner. I wanted to try something different for once in this episode. I wanted to take a moment to celebrate our midterm victories. So I'm doing my first solo episode. It's just me, but not to worry have plenty of guests interviews in the queue with some amazing women. And that will of course remain. My core. Focus for the electorate, and I'd love your feedback. So please visit electorate on Facebook. That's Facebook dot com slash electorate and leave a comment in the post about this episode. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy. I'm Jim Taylor Skinner. And this is the electorate and this episode grab them by the midterms. Nice. You know? I mean, a pretty good mood right about now. Not only have Democrats won the house. This is the first time in the history of congress at more than one hundred women were projected to win seats in the house your representatives. That's a big deal. Women have never held more than eighty four seats out of the four hundred and thirty five seats in the house crazy and congress has been around for over two hundred years has been two centuries. You know, so I think it's fair to call this a pink wave, you know. That's really what I want to explore in this episode. You know, who are these women what makes this freshman crop of women a four be reckon with, you know, they're different. These aren't your everyday candidates. These aren't your everyday politician. These women are fighters, and they're outraged by going to bring patch into the job from their own personal experiences. No, these women they aren't going to DC to play. I'm going to go through some of their backstories. I'm not going to go through all of the women that some of the women that you may have heard of some stories about them that you may or may not be familiar with. But I'm certain that their stories are going to inspire you like they did knee. I was in awe of some of the things that they've lived through new. They've lived incredible lives. They've taken big big risks to get here. And they represent us. They've earned their seats at the table. These women are going to DC, and I know in my heart that these women are going to life that town up like never been looking for. So let's meet a few of them, shall we? I am Rashida to leave. And I grew up in the blackest city in the country. And what teachers that told me about communities where they couldn't live about minds. They couldn't get in line in job. They couldn't get because of the color of their skin. Those are the roof those teachers, those mentors are me as a Palestinian problem curl from southwest Detroit. Where I grew up with twenty different ethnicities that is the beauty of this country. Would it can be. Did you hear the fire in her voice that was related to leave and she is heading to congress Rashida to leave is from working class immigrant family from Detroit, and that clip is actually from the she the people summit in tan Francisco that happened a couple of months ago, actually heard her speak there, and she was a powerhouse? She brought the house down. And when I heard her voice on stage. And I thought man that voice is going to be in congress. I want her fighting for me. Rashida to lead grew up in Detroit in a predominantly black community. She said that she was influenced by this experience. And that, you know, many of the black residents in her community Detroit. Do they hidden live through civil rights movement and had experienced racism, and she was influenced by that? So she really understands civil rights. She really understands what it means the fight. And she also understands what it means to be an immigrant. You know, if these intersections of personality are really going to shape the way, she sees her position in her role in congress, but one of my favorite stories about Rashida to lead was a moment in two thousand sixteen at the Detroit economic club. Trump was there giving a speech there were these women in the audience who were repeatedly shouting trying to get Trump to to speak out on his stance on sexual harassment and Rashida to leave was one of those women, you know. And of course, this is Trump. He's not going to answer that question he sought to answer with a stance is on sexual harassment. I mean, honestly, we all know his stance because you know, what? Did he say he said when you were star, you know, they just let you do it. You can do anything. You can do anything that is Trump stance on sexual harassment and sexual assault. So anyway, back to this moment, and there's a video tape of this, and I'll put a link to this videotape in the show notes. So at that moment where she does leave. She knew she was shouting. And she shouted from the audience. Have you ever read the US constitution? She called President Trump out from the audience. And then surely after that, she was dragged out of the audience by security, and this video is really incredible as security dragging her out, she still chanting and asking questions, and she's not backing down and her body language is so fiery and passionate and this video she's kind of jumping up and down. And she's making sure the questions are heard at the same time. She's being dragged up by security in she's unafraid, and she's unbothered in a later interview. Someone asked her about this moment, and you know, what she said she did to leave said I'm going to bring my Bullhorn to the floor of congress. Rashida to leave is going to congress to fight for us. There are any number of ways that this interaction might have gone. But there was only one way could have ended once a gun entered the equation. In Florida over one million people carry concealed weapons. Additionally, ten to fifteen thousand more Floridians are approved to carry guns and public every month faster than any state in the nation. Nationally, Florida has some of the loosest or medium requirements automobile glove boxes are becoming modern day gun boxes. In his glove box. Michael, Don, cut the nine millimeter semiautomatic gun along with two loaded magazines. Once he hit unloaded his gun at my son and his teenage friends immediately went back to his hotel ordered a pizza and slept. Douglas, Lucy MacBeth testifying in a twenty seventeen Senate hearing against the standard ground laws. She wanted Georgia's sixth congressional district that you may have heard of Lucy MacBeth, she was inspired to run for office after losing her son, Jordan Davis gun violence, her seventeen year old son was murdered in Florida following an argument over loud music, and every since then Lucy MacBeth has been there for the fight. You know, here's another thing that you may not know about Lucy MacBeth, she survived breast cancer twice. You know? The most heartbreaking thing about Lucy MacBeth story is that her son Jordan Davis wasn't supposed to be in Florida. He was there while MacBeth was recovering from a second belt of breast cancer. An although both Florida and Georgia have stand your ground laws. This happening in Florida is so sadly fitting given Florida's history was standard ground laws with Trayvon Martin's case, of course, there have been other high profile cases, the man. Who killed Lucy? Macbeth's son actually cited the standard ground law in his defense and Lucy MacBeth, of course, has been really outspoken about senior ground laws and gun control. Generally. I read an interview between Lucy MacBeth and Tana has he coats in the Atlantic where she said, you know, I still love mine country is the only country we have. And I still believe there are people who believe in Justice, and fairness I still believe that there are people who don't make judgments about people based on the color of their skin the thing that I think is so important about loosen bets. Win is the fact that you know, week over week were stunned at the new levels of gun violence in this country. And it's something that's plagued us loosen about campaigned against the Sandra ground laws, and she was also the national spokesperson for moms demand action for Gunson's. And in the state of Florida where her son was killed at least twenty six children and teens were killed in cases related to stand your ground laws between two thousand five hundred thousand twelve there are twenty five states that still have senior laws. Including Georgia where Lucy MacBeth is from him where she won her congressional seat in Florida. But it won't think about this timeline. It's time line leading up to loosen Macbeth's candidacy, so her son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in November of two thousand twelve sandy hook happened in December of the same year. December of two thousand twelve a day after sandy hook moms demand action for Gunson's in America was founded on December fifteenth two thousand twelve that was just one day after the sandy hook elementary school shooting. In two thousand fourteen Lucy MacBeth became the national spokesperson for mom Simeon action. And following the parkland shooting in February of this year loosened MacBeth announced her run for congress. So that timelines really inspiring. You can see how they seem to hook shooting the death of her son. And her being a spokesperson inactive is for moms to me in action all led up to this moment. There's no better person. And no better advocate to be in this fight against gun violence. So I'm really hopeful to see what Lucy MacBeth brings the congress. I really wanted to talk about gun control. Because I think that a lot of people are talking about them at term elections in the context of committees. And especially the investigative committees. Right, Maxine Waters, you know, she'll be the chair of the House Financial Services committee. And of course, that could mean that they could subpoena Trump's financial records, you know, what I'm looking forward to that just as much as the next person, you know, it's like Christmas is coming, you know, but for me, more importantly are the lives that gun violence touches, especially the lives of children and innocent people were touched by gun violence every day, you know, and I'm really looking forward to see what direction congress goes with these new members who are gun control advocates gun control, for instance, if you look at the congressional archives. You'll see that after sandy hook. There have been at least two dozen bills that have failed. But you know, what things are changing and changing fast the tuna eighteen midterm elections marked the first time that gun control advocates outspent, the NRA. This is the first time. So think about that income. In two previous you're spending. So during the twenty fourteen midterms the NRA spent twenty five million dollars to influence congressional races. And in two thousand sixteen they spent fifty five million dollars to influence the election and thirty million dollars went to Trump's election. But you know, the fact that gun control groups outspent, the NRA for this election really paid off about sixty one percent of voters participating in the midterms said that American gun laws should be stricter Democrats ousted at least fifteen House Republicans that had a ratings from the NRA and the democratic candidates that won the candidates that flipped those Republican seats. They all scored in f- rating, and they ran on that they were proud to have an f rating from the NRA, and you know, why that's so important. Our democratic candidates are going to make it so shameful to have a favorable rating from the NRA that you won't be able to win a race with anything higher than an F rating. But you know, listen, baths, just one candidate that ran on gun control. There is a record number of ads. I think there's something around one hundred. And twenty five thousand ads political ads for midterms for house seats Senate seats in gubernatorial races that made gun control central to their messaging, and at least seventeen newly elected House Democrats back stricter gun laws. And that includes Jennifer Weixin of north Virginia. Abigail spend burger of New Jersey and Elaine Lauria of Virginia. Every go spend burger is interesting. She's a former CIA operative and she was backed by the Gabby giffords organization against gun violence for her stance on tougher gun laws. She's even talked about having to carry a gun every day for her job. So she understands what it means to be responsible gun owner engine for waxen of north Virginia. As a Senator she voted for bills would establish universal background checks. Enclosed gun show, loophole and band bump stocks and Loria Virginia. She's a navy veteran. She spent twenty years in the navy. She was deployed six times. She just retired from the navy in June of twenty seventeen and she was also endorsed by Gabby giffords. So all through this. In addition to Lucy, MacBeth made gun control, a central theme of their campaigns. No, I don't want to imply that we're out of the woods here right there. Still needs to be support from the Senate where the Democrats don't have the majority. And of course, from the executive branch was proven to be pretty useless than standing up to the NRA. But the tide is turning this could be the beginning of the end of the NRA's influence over politics. And of course, the end of this deadly gun culture here in this country. Another woman who made history this year is Cherie Steve it's of Kansas. The world was first introduced to cherise David's in her powerful campaign ad. She's she's in this boxing ring rate, and she's throwing these punches at this punching bag. She's wearing a t shirt that says strong Brazilians and indigenous and I saw this. I thought you who is this person who was this woman when I know cherise David's is or she was rather an enemy fighter. She's also the first openly LGBTQ Kansan and one of the first two native American women elected to congress in. She was also raised by a single mom. Are you seeing the pattern here? These women aren't from privileged backgrounds. Earlier this year SRI David was actually arrested for protesting the capital on behalf with dreamers and on Twitter. She said of her arrest. I'm proud that. I was arrested fighting for dreamers. I'm proud of everyone who takes a stand and works to amplify their voices. Cherise David's is a fighter both literally and figuratively. And we're. Sending her to the house. Deb, Holland, of course of New Mexico who also won her congressional race is making history as one of two native American women going to the house along with Therese David's she has a strong stance on climate change. And she's driven in part by the fact that New Mexico has been plagued by severe drought. Thirteen of the twenty most water poor counties in the US Armagh, Georgie native when I think about both DEM Holland and Therese David's I'm reminded of the attempts at voter suppression in native communities during the midterms. Remember that in North Dakota. So their representation in congress matters for this really important reason for the simple fact that you know, frankly, it's been two hundred years people. Here. Congresswoman elect. My name. In congress. Women. Elected. One of these. Couplets Ilhan, Omar. Haunt Amar is one of two the first Muslim woman to be elected to the house of representatives along with for cheetah to leap. So I really want you to take a moment to absorb Ilhan Omar's backstory. Her family fled, the civil war in Somalia and at each eight. She spent the next four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. Then at age twelve in nineteen ninety-five, she moved to the US where she spoke, no English. You know, I wonder if that eight year old girl as she fled her home country a country, by the way, that's currently on the US travel ban less a wonder if she could have imagined herself making history as the first woman to her job and the US house of representatives the first Somali American legislator on one of the first Muslim women in the house of representatives. When I think about them are walking into that chamber. I'm so moved. I'm so moved and I'm proud. So this is really interesting study that was done. It showed that women in congress path on average twice as many bills as their male colleagues. Women legislators sponsor more Bill. They pass more laws also said more money to their districts and women legislators a more likely to introduce legislation that specifically benefits women and to put it bluntly. They just get stuff done. Don't put a link to the city in the show notes. You know, there's this concept called the Jill Robinson affect and it's a phrase that's based on Jackie Robinson. The first black baseball player who was one of the top talents in the game. You know, Jackie Robinson had to be better than any almost any white player in order to to overcome all the racism. So basically the Joel Robinson affect which just introduced by Sierra and Zia, she's a researcher from Stanford. The job Robinson affect explains why congresswoman outperform congressman. And her study says that if odors are biased against female candidates, only, the most talented working women will succeed in the electoral process and also women perceived that there there's going to be discrimination in the electoral process or underestimate their own qualifications for office. Relative to the men who are running then only the most qualified and politically ambitious women mullahs merges candidates. It's a really really interesting sitting in L pulled linked to it in the show notes. You know, and actually maybe I'll have Sarah on his guest to talk about it further. You know with all of that said with over one hundred women going to congress we have over one hundred reasons to really hopeful. And that's a lot of fighters. And of course, you know, I have to talk about Presley another woman who made history this year. She's the first black one the first woman of color from Massachusetts to serve in house of representatives. But you know, that wasn't her only. I she was also the first black woman elected to the Boston city council and in this past race during the midterms she unseeded her incumbent, Michael Capuano who served ten terms. Another important thing about Presley is that she's talked in the past about being a survivor of sexual assault. She was in college. And I think that's really important for the fact that one of the criticisms that we've heard about the metoo movements and from an ISM around, you know, sexual assault is that it hasn't been fully inclusive. All though, the metoo movement was initially launched by Toronto Burke, who's also black woman following that. One of the criticisms is that it has not been inclusive to the experiences of women of color. So I think that someone at Presley's level with herbs ability in her. Leadership. It's really important that she's being open about this. And I think that's really admirable. Now. I don't think that women are required to do this. Right. I think that having women where they're paying on their sleeves reshare their personal experiences so publicly it should not be a requirement. But I think that when it is done, especially by a black woman, especially by a woman of color, a woman who's election is historic. You know, I think that that's valuable beyond words, and I from one appreciate it. One of the things that I admire most about Presley is hell unapologetically progressive. She is. I mean, all the women that I've talked about our progressive. Right. But she talks about issues that I haven't heard many leaders at her level discuss. For instance, she's talked about the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. And you know as spread across the country. She's talked about the need to make sure that minorities are included in profits from that industry. And that isn't something that I've heard often from leaders at her level. I think that because. Of her focus in because of her experiences in her infancy. I think that she's going to bring something very special to the house of representatives. When I imagine I enter Presley in her per Hades, beautiful braids in Ilhan, Omar in her job on the floor of the house in really move all of the intersecting identities that these women bring together, I find it really beautiful in moving. I'm really came forward to this new congress when I think about this beautiful coalition of women the new members the veterans in all their strengths coming together. I'm just beside myself with excitement, you know, they're going to disagree at times, you know, the views and their their styles won't, always align. And they're going to fight in different ways. Nobody think it would be really healthy for us as a party to move to a place where we're all fine with that. I mean, what else can we do, you know? But I've seen these women and I've seen what they can do. And I've seen them in action. And I know the we are in the best hands. So the point I wanted to make with this episode. It's not just about having a majority in the house. Although that's important. It's about who's in majority. The historic number of women. You know, these women have personal experience with gun violence with the pain and struggle of being a refugee, you know, they have personal ties immigration native, American Muslim black lesbian veterans. The intersection of identities of these women going to the house of representatives is so powerful. So so powerful. So here are their names Lucy MC bath Abigail span. Burger Jennifer Ston, Elaine Loria should we stay? It's where she needed to leave Alana, mar Deb Holland, and there's so many more remember those things because I have a feeling you're going to hear from them. I'm believe they're going to transform the country, by the way, if this up so feels incomplete I agree. I want do another segment on women of color, both those who've been elected and also about the electorate, you know, how women of color voted in this past election. When I think about this collection of women. I can barely contain my excitement. I'm so excited to see where we're going. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, please to me if ever hit your subscribe, but nineteen or wherever you get your podcast when you click subscribe, that's one of the most valuable things you can do for punk cast. And also I want to hear from you. I wanna hear your input on what you think about the shows up a survey on our Facebook page, you can go there, and let me know what you think it's Facebook dot com slash electorate. And until next time keep up the good fight.