President Donald Trump's November victory has been polarizing, to say the least. Having a man who speaks about grabbing women by the crotch — among other sexist, misogynistic things — in the White House has catalyzed a wave of women running for politics.
To illustrate this expedited movement: The Federal Election Commission had 73 percent more Democrats sign up to run in the 2018 midterm elections compared to those who signed up for the 2014 midterm elections, according to Mother Jones. In 2016, 5,500 women signed up for She Should Run, a nonprofit that helps women get into office, The Chicago Tribune reported. At the end of last March, there were 10,000 members.
Angered and motivated by our political landscape, many of these women never thought they would be running for office. But with their rights at risk, it feels like it's now or never. More women are saying, "I have solutions for that — why don't I stand up and why don't I speak out?" Colorado state representative Daneya Esgar told NBC News.
Below are some of the women already forging a name for themselves in politics, changing the temperature of the current climate — and inspiring other women along the way:
1. Ilhan Omar
While Trump was elected President in November, Omar was also elected as Minnesota State Representative, NPR reported. She also became the first Somali-American to do so. As a Muslim and former refugee, Omar has promised an agenda fighting for justice and clean, renewable energy. "I think I bring the voice of young people," she said. "I think I bring the voice of women in the East African community. I bring the voice of Muslims. I bring the voice of young mothers looking for opportunities."
2. Kate Brown
Last November, Brown became the governor of Oregon. She is publicly bisexual and was the first open member of the LGBTQ community to be elected to the position. "I will...continue to use that voice and my experiences as a member of the LGBT community, as well as my female voice to help push us forward as a nation," she said.
3. Lisa Blunt Rochester
Blunt Rochester was recently elected into Congress and made history as Delaware's first African-American and female to do so. She previously broke glass ceilings as the first African-American Deputy Secretary of Health and Social Services in Delaware. Blunt Rochester has spoken out against Trump's "hateful, racist and discriminatory immigration policies," according to Delaware Online.
4. Stephanie Murphy
Murphy was the first Vietnamese-American woman voted into Congress when she won Florida's 7th Congressional District. "I never imagined running for public office, because I'm a fairly private person," she told Vogue. "But I felt like if you wanted to change the way Washington operated, you had to change the type of people you were sending to Washington."
5. Pramila Jayapal
Jayapal is the first Indian-American elected into Congress, having moved to the United States at age 16, The Miami Herald reported. She objected to Trump's Electoral College results and also skipped his inauguration. When Trump's infamous travel ban came about, Jayapal went to Sea-Tac International Airport and banged on the door to speak to customs and border protection officials.
All of these women are only the start. Here's to hoping more are inspired to get involved. We've got a long road ahead.