15 and Counting in Congress

Some 300 women ran for Congress this year, more than 150 were nominated–an historic number hoping to crush the rock solid, embarrassing, percentage of women now serving: 17%.

It includes, in the increasingly pivotal state of Virginia, Ella Ward. A City Councilwoman from Chesapeake who won 85% of the Democratic primary vote (recently interviewed by Melissa Harris-Perry, below), she is one of the African American women hopefuls. Says Ward:

The election in November is crucial for our nation. We need to stop the gridlock in Congress that continues to protect the wealthy while allowing the middle class to sink into poverty. Congressional Candidate Ella Ward

The historical numbers of women of color in Congress are grim:

A total of 31 African American or black women have served in Congress (1 in the Senate, 30 in the House), including the 15 serving in the 112th Congress. Eight Hispanic women have been elected to the House; seven serve in the 112th Congress. Six Asian American women have served in the House, including four in the 112th Congress. Congressional Research Service.

That number–26–stands against 435 voting and 6 non-voting members of the House, and 100 Senators, every year! And for African American women’s representation: 15/541.

Ward discusses the record number of women running here:

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/melissa-harris-perry/48711597#48711597

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