Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
It's clear from Wednesday's freshman class photo of the 116th Congress that the members-elect are set to change the composition of both chambers quite visibly they head to Washington in January.
Among the most notable changes, given the recent cultural shifts in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the Kavanaugh hearings, is the addition of 35 female lawmakers, bringing the total number of women in the 116th Congress to a record (of at least) 124, up from 107 in the current Congress, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men. Here's a quick breakdown of how Congress is set to change on religious, gender and racial lines in 2019:
- 13 of the newly elected female representatives are nonwhite.
- LGBT breakthroughs include Democrat members-elect Sharice Davids (D.-Kan.), the first LGBT Kansan elected to Congress, and Kyrsten Sinema (D.-Ariz.), the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
- The first Muslim women were elected to the House: Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.), a Somali-American, and Rashida Tlaib (D.-Mich.), a Palestinian-American.
- Two new Native American women were elected to the House: Deb Haaland (D.-N.M.) and Sharice Davids (D.-Kan.).
- Ayanna Pressley (D.-Mass.) is the first black woman elected to Congress in Massachusetts.
- Sylvia Garcia (D.-Tex.) is the first Latina to represent Texas in the House.
A stark contrast between parties
The increased diversity of the 116th Congress comes almost entirely from Democrats, considering all Republican members-elect are white men except for one female representative.
For Democrats, tweaking the composition of Congress to more closely match national demographics seems to be a bigger priority.
"It brings a different perspective to the table," Rep.-elect Kendra Horn, from Oklahoma, told the Washington Post, adding: "I'm very excited to be part of this new class that looks a lot more like our communities."
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.