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Cori Bush becomes the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress

Cori Bush becomes the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress

At the time the race was called by the Associated Press on Tuesday night, Bush was leading Republican candidate Anthony Rogers with 84 percent of the vote.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley might soon be welcoming Cori Bush to the iconic "Squad." The single mother of two children made history on the night of November 3 by becoming the first Black Congresswoman in the history of Missouri. At the time the race was called by the Associated Press on Tuesday night, Bush was leading Republican candidate Anthony Rogers with 84 percent of the vote. According to ABC News, the 44-year-old's history-making win was expected following her victory over incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. in the Democratic primary in August.

 



 

 

This marked the end of the political dynasty of the Lacy Clay family, which has represented the blue-leaning St. Louis-area 1st District for over five decades. Bush had the backing of the progressive political action committee Justice Democrats, who helped propel New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to her first upset victory over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley. Bush, who is a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, cast her vote on Tuesday morning while wearing a mask with "Breonna Taylor" printed on it. According to Variety, she became politically active in 2014 protesting the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, a Black teen who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

 



 

"It wasn't until after Michael Brown was murdered... when I just realized that there has to be more to this seat, especially when we don't see our Congress member out here [at the protests] at all," Bush told Good Morning America earlier this year. "That's when my eyes started to open that something is missing." Both a nurse and a pastor, she has been candid on her campaign trail about her struggles with paying taxes and staying on top of bills. She has also spoken out about facing homelessness and domestic violence at points in her life.

 



 

She revealed that she wants to bring to Congress a direct link to the people of her district and the issues they face daily and fight the big fight for criminal justice reform, policing reform, Medicare, education for all, and equal rights. "I'm taking my own lived experience to Congress, and what so many people in my community have gone through where they have felt, you know, neglected, under-represented, just not heard," she said. "I'm not going to stop being an activist just because I'll be in Congress."

 



 

Bush reiterated her goals in a Twitter thread last night where she wrote: "Mike Brown was murdered 2,278 days ago. We took to the streets for more than 400 days in protest. Today, we take this fight for Black Lives from the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress. We will get justice. Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to Congress 52 years ago. Today, I became the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri in Congress. It's 2020. I shouldn’t be the first, but I am honored to carry this responsibility."

 



 

 

"I will be the first woman to represent Missouri’s First District in its 173-year history. We’ve seen a 74% increase in women voters here since 2016. Representation matters. A system that works for everyone matters," Bush continued. "I am the first nurse going to Congress from Missouri—in the middle of a pandemic. Nurses all across the country have risked their lives to save others. Working-class people need representatives who look like them and who have experienced their struggles. I am that champion. To all the counted outs, the forgotten abouts, the marginalized, and the pushed asides. This is our moment. We came together to end a 52-year family dynasty. That's how we build the political revolution."

 



 

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