Editorial: Voters in Los Angeles and California elected a wave of women to the U.S. House of Representatives, a sign of a new wave of diversity in Congress.
Women make up less than 5% of U.S. House members and the number is even less in Congress overall. The 2016 election, when women won seats in three states, is one of the first wave of an increased diversity in Congress.
The Democratic and Republican parties have worked to increase the number of women in Congress by having candidates run as candidates. They hope to bring new women to the table.
This is one of the first waves of an increased diversity in Congress. It is also one of the most important. Women are the majority of the American electorate, but they are not yet a majority in Congress. Women are in charge of more than half of all congressional seats, about a third of all House committee positions, and about 30 percent of the voting public. That’s progress toward gender parity. But the GOP is not yet at parity.
There are three reasons that women in the House represent so little of the electorate: First, the political parties have fought hard to keep women in their party. Democrats have been willing to work hard to elect women, particularly female Democrats; the Republican party has fought hard to keep women out.
Second, our elected leaders haven’t been as supportive of women’s political participation. Elected officials and party leaders have fought so hard to keep women from sitting in their party’s seats to run for the House or Senate that they have had little incentive to support the development of political infrastructure in women’s political participation.
The third reason is why women are not yet a majority of the electorate: We’re not voting, and it’s mostly our voters who choose the candidates who will represent them in Congress.
Voters in Los Angeles and California elected a wave of women to the House of Representatives. We saw a historic level of turnout in the primary election in California and statewide turnout in Los Angeles County — the most populous in the world. The voters of Los Angeles County, and California, elected a record number of women.
Of that record number of women, the Democrats chose three women against two men. The candidates the Democrats chose were women who ran as candidates,