There is a lot riding on our upcoming Midterm Elections and even with the hashtags and the pleas from various mediums for us to go out and vote there are still a few of us who just do not know enough about the candidates.
In this post, I would like to highlight some of the names you might be hearing about on your news feeds and on television just to get your research process started. There are over 50 black women alone running and many others that might interest you regardless of what side of the political spectrum you might fall.
If you need to do some quick research click here so that you can be more informed as you head out to vote.
While you are doing that, here are 7 influential black women that you should know before Tuesday!
Stacey Abrams – Georgia
In 2010, Stacey became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. As House Minority Leader, she has worked strategically to recruit, train, elect, and defend Democrats to prevent a Republican supermajority in the House, and has worked across the aisle on behalf of all Georgians.
During her tenure, she has stopped legislation to raise taxes on the poor and middle class and to roll back reproductive healthcare. She has brokered compromises that led to progress on transportation, infrastructure, and education. Most recently, she passed legislation to improve the welfare of grandparents and other kin raising children and secured increased funding to support these families.
Read more about Stacy here.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor.
Elected in November 2016 to her fourteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives with more than 76 percent of the vote in the 43rd Congressional District of California, Congresswoman Waters represents a large part of South Central Los Angeles including the communities of Westchester, Playa Del Rey, and Watts and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County comprised of Lennox, West Athens, West Carson, Harbor Gateway and El Camino Village. The 43rd District also includes the diverse cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita and Torrance.
Congresswoman Waters serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services. An integral member of Congressional Democratic Leadership, Congresswoman Waters serves as a member of the Steering & Policy Committee. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and member and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
As a national Democratic Party leader, Congresswoman Waters has long been highly visible in Democratic Party politics and has served on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) since 1980. She was a key leader in five presidential campaigns: Sen. Edward Kennedy (1980), Rev. Jesse Jackson (1984 & 1988), and President Bill Clinton (1992 & 1996). In 2001, she was instrumental in the DNC’s creation of the National Development and Voting Rights Institute and the appointment of Mayor Maynard Jackson as its chair.
Following the Los Angeles civil unrest in 1992, Congresswoman Waters faced the nation’s media and public to interpret the hopelessness and despair in cities across America. Over the years, she has brought many government officials and policymakers to her South Central L.A. district to appeal for more resources. They included President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Secretaries of Housing & Urban Development Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo, and Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve System. Following the unrest, she founded Community Build, the city’s grassroots rebuilding project.
She has used her skill to shape public policy and deliver the goods: $10 billion in Section 108 loan guarantees to cities for economic and infrastructure development, housing and small business expansion; $50 million appropriation for “Youth Fair Chance” program which established an intensive job and life skills training program for unskilled, unemployed youth; expanded U.S. debt relief for Africa and other developing nations; creating a “Center for Women Veterans,” among others.
Read more about Maxine here
Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding – Colorado’s 5th District
Stephany Rose is new to the political landscape of the Front Range, but the last election cycle exposed a need for people who will genuinely listen to their constituents. The electrifying International Women’s March drew huge numbers of people and convinced her that Colorado’s Congressional District 5 deserves a new, fresh Representative who will be responsive to the unique needs and concerns of the people of the Front Range. She feels there is a need to change the narrative about the district to one that is more representative of who and what it has become. She understands that if the narrative shifts, then opportunities for the district can increase.
Her participation in the district over the years has given Stephany Rose insight into the needs of the communities that comprise Congressional District 5. After several people approached her with the idea of running for office, she realized that she is in a unique position to be the person to help move Colorado Springs to a prominent place among the successful cities of the nation. Her long journey as an educator, a person of faith, and an active member of the community has led her to once again raise her hand and answer the call to service.
As a worker and a servant in the District, Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding hopes to genuinely represent and serve her constituency to bring inclusion, innovation, and a voice to each person in Colorado’s Congressional District 5.
Jeannine Lee Lake – Indiana
“I’M RUNNING FOR CONGRESS BECAUSE I BELIEVE WE ALL HAVE TO STAND UP RIGHT NOW AND FIGHT FOR PROGRESS – FOR OUR PROSPERITY AND HEALTH, OUR CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES, AND OUR SECURITY.”
Jeannine was born and raised in Indiana and has lived for over 30 years in the 6th District. She is a hard-working community leader who will fight the good fight for all her constituents. A vote for her is a vote for you!
Jeannine is the Editor and Publisher of The Good News (formerly The Muncie Times). Jeannine is currently on the boards of The Muncie Matters Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters and is the Chairwoman of Feed My Sheep, which delivers 1,500 meals to the needy on Thanksgiving Day. She and her husband, Aaron, have three sons; Charles, Layton, Nashon; a daughter, Constance, two grandsons, Aiden and Jonah and a St. Bernard named Ditka.
Ayanna Pressley – Boston
Pressley was first elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009, becoming the first woman of color ever elected to the Council. In her subsequent 2011 and 2013 reelection campaigns, Pressley made history as the first person of color and the first woman in 30 years to top the ticket.
During her time in office, Pressley created and chairs the City Council’s Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities. The Committee is devoted to the causes that she has always been most devoted to: stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, combating poverty, and addressing issues that disproportionately impact women and girls.
Pressley is committed to working in partnership with the community, building broad and diverse coalitions to advance policy reforms. She has earned local and national attention for her efforts to provide pathways to graduation for pregnant and parenting teens, ensure Boston high school students receive comprehensive sexual health education, diversify economic and wealth building opportunities for women and people of color, and strengthen support services for families of homicide victims and sexual assault survivors.
Learn more about Ayanna’s work here.
Lauren Underwood – Illinois 14th District
Lauren Underwood is a registered nurse and health policy expert from Naperville who is running for Congress to represent her community: Illinois’ 14th district.
She is committed to fighting for families and believes that strong jobs, smart investments and access to affordable health care will put our region back on track.
Read more about Lauren here.
Erika Stotts Pearson – Tennessee
Mrs. Pearson stands firm in her principles of education reform, common-sense compromises, the promotion of entrepreneurship and small business, financial responsibility and faith-based services.
When the NBA team, the Grizzlies were seeking a home, Erika Stotts Pearson helped make the case for the team to come to Memphis. When Memphis needed a new charter school, Erika Stotts Pearson founded the Memphis Academy of Health Sciences School.
Mrs. Pearson comes from a family of successful community leaders in Shelby and Fayette county. She has been surrounded by leaders her whole life which has allowed her to effectively serve her community. Erika has worked as a sports agent, a financial adviser, a television producer, a spiritual leader and a community leader. She was recently recognized for her varied and extensive efforts with a certificate of special congressional recognition from US Congressman Steve Cohen.
Just like you, Erika Stotts Pearson is tired of the petty bickering and gridlock in Washington, D.C. She believes that the government should be working with the people’s best interests in mind. It’s time for someone with a proven track record of success in multiple fields to enter Congress and make change happen.
Read more about Erika here.
Go out and vote!