Heart to Heart 509 A Time for Hope!

A Time for Hope!

When the 116th Congress heads to Washington in January, there will be a record number of women in the ranks: at least 123, according to Axios. The halls of the legislature will also boast America’s first Muslim women in Congress, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women.

There will be more scientists, too.

On Tuesday, seven new science-credentialed candidates were elected: one new Senator and six new members of the House. Full results are not yet available in Washington state, where a pediatrician is also likely to be elected to the House.

While a record number of women are projected to win House seats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, a local judicial race in Houston, Texas brings even more great news: All 19 black women who ran for various judicial seats in Harris County won their races last night,  marking the single biggest victory for black women in the county’s history.

Congratulations to the people of Florida who just voted to give 1.4 million people their voting rights back! This is a monumental victory not only for voting rights but for criminal justice reform. If we want a criminal justice system that rehabilitates people, we need to make sure formerly incarcerated people can fully participate as citizens. We should not be stripping people who committed a crime of their rights as citizens even after they have paid their price to society and completed their sentence. Passing this amendment is an important step for both voting rights and criminal justice reform and I am very grateful to the voters of Florida for deciding to take that step.

After this election, there are signs of hope!  There are more LGBTQ people in Congress than ever before; more Native Americans; Latinos; Muslims; more young people, more women. This progress means that the House is more reflective of the American people than ever before.  It is a time in our country when all of us are beginning to get the opportunity to let our light shine!  I encourage all of us to continue to get involved at whatever level possible.  When we do, it is a time for hope!  From my hopeful heart to yours, Thomas