Women of Color Make Inroads in Political Sphere

Sharece Crawford
Sharece Crawford, ANC Commissioner (8C), is a DumpTrump slate member. (Lafayette Barnes/The Washington Informer)

The Trump administration and the #MeToo movement have led to a groundswell of support for women in American society. The movement has also carried over into the political scene where women all over the country have taken the challenge of becoming the next generation of political leaders.

In Georgia, the first potential African-American female governor is Democratic nominee and state Representative Stacey Abrams. In Texas, over 50 women ran for state or national office. Both Georgia and Texas are historically conservative states.

D.C. is not immune to women serving in elected office. And in the upcoming primary in June, along with November’s general election, several young women and native Washingtonians have proudly entered into several races. The D.C. Democratic State Committee’s Dump Trump slate consists of 40 men and women, including several women of color.

Sheika Reid, a native Washingtonian, is running for the Ward 1 seat on the D.C. City Council. Mayor Muriel Bowser is running virtually unopposed for her second term in the upcoming Democratic primary. And since D.C. has almost no Republican Party infrastructure, Bowser’s re-election bid is nearly a certainty.

When considering potential candidates, D.C. Committee candidate for Chairwoman Nikki Lewis, who is running in the final months of her pregnancy, said, “I created a list of people that I thought were badass and that I had seen over my past decade of doing community organizing and policy advocacy.”

At the top of her list was Chioma Iwuoha (Shaw), along with Tiye Kinlow (Bellevue), Janeese Lewis (Brightwood) and Sharece Crawford, current ANC commissioner 8C. in Southeast. All of them are native Washingtonians under 30.

“I’m actually from a very politically active family, but long story short, I have always been aware of politics and felt the need to participate and be engaged because that‘s what my parents did,” Kinlow said.

The Democratic State Committee is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in D.C. The goals of the candidates include mobilizing and educating voters. holding currently elected officials accountable, and the long-running push for D.C. statehood.

“When I look at the Democratic State Committee. changes aren’t going to happen from the outside,” Lewis said. “We can yell at the City Council all we want to. We can yell at the Democratic Committee all we want to. but if we’re not on the inside having a seat at the table. it means nothing? That‘s one of the reasons I want to be on the inside — l want to hold people accountable and create transparency.”

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