The Democrats began their new reign of power in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday with the swearing in of the most diverse class of lawmakers—several of them African-American women who made history as the first to represent their state in the House.
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Pressley is joined by fellow freshman Jahana Hayes, a novice politician who is a former national teacher of the year. Hayes is now the first African-American woman to represent Connecticut in the House.
Hayes and Pressley officially became members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Five CBC members are expected to serve as committee chairs and 28 subcommittee chairs.
“Impeachment is not going to be top on our agenda,” the California congresswoman said during a brief phone conversation. “It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. But at this point in time, we really think that some of the things our community needs are way more important than us going after impeachment now.”
One of Bass’ top priorities as CBC chair is protecting voting rights for African Americans, pointing to the gubernatorial election that was stolen from Stacey Abrams in Georgia and the ongoing voter fraud scandal in North Carolina.
“We have so much to do, given the last two years of this administration,” she said. “There has been no accountability, where we see him systematically go after gains our community achieved decades ago.”
There were also several history-making Black prosecutors sworn into various offices at the state and county levels.
Former Ferguson, Missouri Councilman Wesley Bell took the oath of office on Tuesday to become the first African-American district attorney for St. Louis County’s—replacing law-and-order prosecutor Bob McCulloch who oversaw the Michael Brown case.
Rachael Rollins became the first African-American district attorney of Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Justice Geraldine Hines, the first black justice on the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, administered the oath of office on Wednesday.
And in New York, Letitia James was sworn in on Monday to become the state’s first African-American and the first woman elected as the state’s attorney general.