An Off-Cycle Election Brings Big Wins For Women
Tuesday might have counted as an “off-cycle” election day—meaning we didn’t vote in a general election for president or even on Congressional midterm races—but it nonetheless turned into a big night for women. In Ohio, voters chose to pass a ballot measure that will protect abortion access in the state; in Virginia, voters rejected politicians who ran on a 15-week abortion ban and instead gave Democrats control of the state legislature. As Forbes reporter Alison Durkee notes here, these are just the latest in a string of state-specific victories for reproductive healthcare, proving anew that abortion access is a critical health, economic and political issue that is driving people to polls.
It was also a night of many firsts for women: In Philadelphia, Democrat Cherelle Parker was elected to become the city’s 100th mayor and will be the first woman to hold the job. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection made good on its moniker within the chambers of city council, too: Civil rights attorney Rue Landau will become the council’s first openly LGBTQ+ member, while Nina Ahmad will become the council’s first South Asian member. In Wichita, Libertarian and political newcomer Lily Wu was elected as mayor Tuesday night and will become her city’s first Asian American mayor.
As I said on Morning Joe today during a discussion about these results with Huma Abedin and Mika Brzezinski, these firsts matter because according to the Center for American Women in Politics, women make up just a quarter of mayors and officials who represent towns and cities with more than 30,000 residents. Yet women comprise a little more than half of this country’s population. So with each woman who wins a mayoral seat, we get just a little bit closer to a government that looks like its people.