A Woman’s Place is in the House and Senate…

By Craig Auster, PAC & Advocacy Partnerships Director

The 2018 elections brought in the most diverse Congress in history, including the most women ever, almost all of whom pro-environment voters chose to be their champions in the U.S. House and Senate.

At the start of the 116th Congress, a historic 127 women were sworn in, with 102 serving in the House and 25 serving in the Senate. Women now make up 23.7 percent of the 535 Members of Congress, up from 19.6 percent in the 115th Congress. This was the biggest increase of women in Congress since the 1992 “Year of the Woman” elections, when women went from 4 percent of the Congress to 10.1 percent, motivated to run by the treatment of Dr. Anita Hill by the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee. Just as in 1992, women were outraged by what was happening to our country and our planet and ran — and won — in record numbers.

And while this trajectory is promising — after all, representation does matter — there is still so much progress left to make. Women make up 51 percent of the population but still are not even 25 percent of Congress. Even with the historic number of women elected, of the 97 new Members of the House and Senate in 2019, 38 are women compared to 59 men.

So what does more women in power mean for the environment?  Well, the news is good: of the 38 new women in Congress, LCV Action Fund supported 33 of them in their election bids, meaning we believe they will do what’s right for our air, water, lands and communities. Two LCV Action Fund-supported women candidates flipped anti-environment U.S. Senate seats to pro-environment this year, Jacky Rosen in Nevada and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona. LCV Action Fund also supported 31 new pro-environment women in the U.S. House, the majority of whom replaced anti-environment incumbents and helped our most pro-environment Speaker Nancy Pelosi take back the gavel.

Many of these amazing new women members of Congress were first-time candidates, like Representatives Lucy McBath of Georgia, Katie Porter of California and Haley Stevens of Michigan. Many also broke barriers with their elections:

They share a deep commitment to fighting for clean air and water, protecting public health and addressing climate change with all of the women LCV Action Fund helped elect.  This newly elected group of women bring important and diverse experience to both chambers:

 

These amazing pro-environment women inspire us all during Women’s History Month and beyond.