Now that title may scare a lot of people, but the future of politics is looking bright for people of color in 2019. The House alone currently hosts 46 African-American members, and the Senate hosts two. In recent weeks, several names amongst the black community have announced that they are running for the 2020 presidential election, the two black senators being amongst them. Beyond that, more black people are running for positions in the Senate and in the House, for governors, for mayors, for commissioners of their districts and for state representatives, etc.
The first black senator was elected in 1870, and now, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced on February 1st that he will be running for the presidential seat in 2020. Booker, a graduate from Yale who has focused on reforming the criminal justice system, early childhood education and widespread healthcare for all, will run against California Senator Kamala Harris for the Democratic party nominee.
Oakland native, and California’s second black female Senator, Kamala Harris announced on January 21st, 2019 that she will be running. Kamala has gained recognition for her time in the Senate, as well as for being first black female Attorney General for California. Kamala runs on a platform for fixing rising rent prices, creating a tuition-free form of higher education, protecting rights for immigrants, spreading healthcare for all Americans and defending the rights of consumers.
Eric Holder, Obama’s first attorney general, is expected to run in 2020 as well. Holder recently told several big news sources that he will announce his decision in March. Having served in government for over 30 years with positions such as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Deputy Attorney General, paired with his knowledge as a lawyer, Holder is more than qualified. Several other black politicians are gaining recognition outside the realm of the presidential election as well.
Mandela Barnes is the youngest Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin to date. At only 32-years-old, the former state representative ended an 8-year run from the Republican party in the state. Barnes priorities lie in reforming health care, closing the achievement gap amongst education, investing in renewable energy and creating a more fair economy.
Another young black politician doing good for her community is 37-year-old Congresswoman 3 Ilhan Omar. One of the first Muslim women to serve, Omar represents Minnesota and focuses on problems in Congress itself, as well as problems in the economy, education, environment, healthcare, and veteran affairs.
The future of politics is progressing in many areas and it is hard to see that on a day-to-day basis in the Trumpian era of news. My advice is for all people, especially black people, to keep an eye on these candidates and current politicians, because ultimately no matter how hard they champion, they still need our vote and support!