By Chloe Rigg
The beginning of a new year. A time of resolutions, the hopes of better weather, and award shows. After Oprah Winfrey’s phenomenal speech at the Golden Globes, “Oprah 2020” lit a spark throughout social media. I love Oprah as much as anyone. However, amongst this I must ask, “Would ‘Oprah 2020’ really be what our country needs?” Having our next president be an African American woman would help bring about the change we need, but is Oprah the right woman? Oprah is a celebrity with no political experience, and though vastly different than President Trump, she wouldn’t know how to properly run our government. She already has an established presence with her career, and continuously . She does all these things throughout the US, without a spot in the White House. But, fear not. This doesn’t mean you are stuck with another “white stiff in a suit.” Instead, here are a few women of color who have plenty of political experience and would be great candidates to break the glass ceiling. (Oprah would probably love these, too.)
Rep. Janet Buckner(D) was elected to represent House District 40 (Aurora, CO) in 2015, filling in the vacant position left by her husband. Since then she has been a member of the Health, Insurance and Environment, and Education committees. Prior to the political work, Buckner trained hospital personnel in medical sales, and women’s health issues are very important to her. Other key platforms on her websites are: education, equal pay, environment, and veteran services. I first heard of Janet Buckner when I saw her speech at a congressional hearing entailing her experiences with racism.
Why would Buckner be beneficial for this country?
To begin with, it would be an honor to have Buckner break through the glass ceiling women and people of color must live under. Next, she has a personal perspective to the racism people in this country face. Lastly, she already has experience with education, and that could help bring the reforms our system desperately needs.
Catherine Cortez Masto
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D), elected in November 2016, is the first Latina and the first woman from Nevada in the senate. Prior to being in the senate, Cortez Masto served as Attorney General of Nevada. In this position, she helped create safer communities in Nevada. Working closely with law enforcement, Cortez Masto fought against identity theft, sex-trafficking, and fraud. She also created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force to hold banks accountable and fought in favor of Nevada homeowners. Since being elected into the senate, Cortez Masto has a seat on six committees: Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Rules and Administration; Indian Affairs; and the Special Committee on Aging. Currently, Cortez Masto (along with other democrats), are fighting to protect national monuments from the Trump administration. With firm beliefs and an experienced rap sheet, Cortez Masto would be right at home in the oval office. She would not only be the first woman, but the first Latina President. She has sat on committees covering many topics, and she would have a unique perspective, as she comes from rural Nevada.
Idahoan Rep. Paulette Jordan (D) is serving in the Idaho House of Representatives and Idaho Legislative Council. Jordan is also running for Idaho Governor in the next election cycle. Jordan has roots in Northern Idaho. She grew up in Plummer and is a member of the Coeur’ d’Alene tribe. Prior to her service in the Idaho House and Legislative Council, Jordan was elected to Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council for three years. She was the youngest person ever elected. Currently, she is serving on three committees: Environment, Energy, and Technology; Resources and Conservation; and State Affairs. Jordan has been/is still involved with Northwest Disability Action Center; Idaho Heritage Trust; Democratic National Convention; National Indian Gaming Association; and the Gaming Committee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. Some of Jordan’s top priorities in office are; livable wages, civil rights, and protecting natural resources. Though Jordan isn’t quite old enough for the 2020 election, if she continues to rise through our government system, a Native American view would be a refreshing change for America’s long line of male leaders. And, being Idahoan, she would be a memorable legacy for this great state.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (D) has served the 27th Congressional District (Southern California) in the House of Representatives, since 2009. Chu was the first Chinese American woman elected into congress. She is currently serving on two committees: House Ways and Means, and House Small Business. Since 2011, Chu has been the Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Chu has previously served and risen through Californian politics, starting on the Board of Education in 1985. Chu has a wide variety of priority issues including: immigration, women’s rights, crime and safety, and health care. She is also helping in the fight for the Dreamers program. Asian Americans still don’t get the representation they deserve, so what better way to bring it to light than with an Asian American President? Coming from California, Chu has dealt with politics on a large scale, which would give her an advantage in the White House. Incorporating diversity into the White House opens the door for diversity throughout our entire governmental system, which our country would benefit greatly from.
Shelia Jackson Lee
Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee (D) has served eleven terms representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas (Houston) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lee has a seat on the Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget committees. She is the first female in a ranking position on the subcommittee for Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Some of Lee’s top priority issues include: children, criminal justice reform, NASA, and foreign affairs. With eleven terms under her belt, Lee would be at home in the White House, and would be a remarkable Presidential candidate. Like Buckner, Lee would have a personal perspective on race issues and would know how to help move our country into the future. Lee has high hopes for NASA and space exploration, and it would be interesting to see how she’d incorporate that into her politics.
The U.S. is filled with strong, compassionate, women who give their all to make the country a better place for us. From women in STEM, to stay at home moms, Oprah, and finally, women in national politics. Everyone makes a beneficial contribution to America. With all the blood, sweat, and tears women have given throughout the history of this country, I think it’s overdue for us to have a female President. I believe any woman on this list (and many more already in our government) or any woman from our future generations would run this country intelligently and with pride.