Midterm Elections: How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Other Women Made History


It was a big night in midterm election history! In many cases, it was also a night of firsts. Following President Donald Trump's election, record numbers of women entered Democratic primaries and ran for some form of public office during this midterm. Compared to the last midterm election, Times Up reports there were 235 women candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives than a previous record of 167. Among the many inspirational women elected Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the youngest elected to Congress.

She is not only an educator and political activist, but also one of the many women, whose win is a milestone during this year's election. This amazing Latina, defeated Republican Rep. Anthony Pappas, who was formerly an economics professor at St. John's University in Queens. She won New York's 14th Congressional District, earning support from 78 percent of voters according to NBC News. It was an expected win after Ocasio-Cortez beat out U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in June.

After her big win, Ocasio-Cortez gave a victory speech last night. “We launched this campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the moral issues of our time, it is up to us to voice them," she proclaims. “We have the duty to stand up for what is right." She concluded her speech with a powerful, inspirational statement. “We cannot stop. Electoral politics is just a tool in a larger tool box of this movement," she says. Ocasio-Cortez also sent a tweet to her followers, grateful for the opportunity of running in this election. “I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement," she tweeted.

For those who may not know, this 29-year-old was born in the Bronx, and raised by Puerto Rican parents. She got her degree in economics and international relations from Boston University, but also took interest in establishment politics during college while working for Senator Edward. M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, according to The New York Times. Her political involvement didn't end there. After college, she took on new projects in the Bronx that would improve education for children and years later, took part in political activism like the protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, also according to the Times.

“We launched this campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the moral issues of our time, it is up to us to voice them," she proclaims.

Witnessing history in the making...

As of today, 117 women won their midterm elections according to The Washington Post. Women are making historic accomplishments. Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is proud to have supported so many female candidates across the country in a recent press release. “A record number of Democratic women are headed to Congress, and women made up the overwhelming majority of congressional seats we flipped from red to blue," he states. “Women are leading the resistance, and the Democratic Party will continue to stand in solidarity with women in America and around the world marching for the equality they deserve – from equal pay and paid family leave, to more affordable health care and child care, to better educational opportunities and the right to live and work free from harassment or assault." He went on to congratulate a few of the newly elected Democratic women.

Record numbers of women ran during this midterm election. Photo Courtesy of Timesupnow.com

Along with Ocasio-Cortez, there is a list of remarkable, diverse group of women who have contributed to a night of firsts.

Stacey Abrams, Democrat: Abrams is currently still running for governor in Georgia. If she wins, she will be the first black governor in U.S. history.

Ilhan Omar, Democrat: Omar is serving as the Minnesota State Representative for the 5th district. She is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Rashida Tlaib, Democrat: Tlaib is serving as Michigan State Representative for the 13th district. She is also one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Veronica Escobar, Democrat: Escobar is serving as Texas State Representative for the 16th district. She is one of the first Texas Latina's elected to Congress.

Sylvia Garcia, Democrat: Garcia is serving as Texas State Representative for the 29th district. She is also one of the first Texas Latina's elected to Congress.

Ayanna Pressley, Democrat: Pressley is serving as Massachusetts State Representative for the 7th district. She is Mass. first black congresswoman.

Deb Haaland, Democrat: Haaland is serving as New Mexico State Representative for the 1st district. She is one of the Native American women elected to Congress.

Sharice Davids: Davids is serving as Kansas State Representative for the 3rd district. She is also one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Abby Finkenauer, Democrat: Finkenauer is serving as the Iowa State Representative for the 99th district. She is also one of the youngest women elected to Congress.

Young Kim, Republican: Kim is serving as the California State Representative for the 39th district. She is the first Korean American woman in Congress.

“A record number of Democratic women are headed to Congress, and women made up the overwhelming majority of congressional seats we flipped from red to blue," states Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

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How I Turned my Fine Art Drawings into a Temporary Tattoo Empire

I have always been in love with all things art- I was obsessed with drawing and painting before I was even walking. In high school, I started a career selling art through various gallery art shows and on Etsy. I then went on to study fine arts at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in painting, but took classes in ceramics, printmaking, cinema and architecture to get a really well-rounded education on all sorts of art.

During my senior year of college, my career path went through a huge transition; I started my own temporary tattoo brand, INKED by Dani, which is a brand of temporary tattoos based on my hand-drawn fine art designs.

The idea for the brand came one night after a themed party at college. My friends, knowing how much I loved drawing, asked me to cover them in hand-drawn doodles using eyeliner. The feedback from that night was overwhelming, everyone my friends saw that night was obsessed with the designs. In that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head... I could do some completely unique here and create chic temporary tattoos with an art-driven aesthetic, unlike anything else on the market. Other temporary tattoo brands were targeted to kids or lacked a sleek and millennial-driven look. It was a perfect pivot; I could utilize my fine arts training and tattoos as a new art medium to create a completely innovative brand.

Using the money I made from selling my artwork throughout high school and college, I funded the launch of INKED by Dani. I had always loved the look of dainty tattoos, but knew I could never commit to the real thing, and I knew my parents would kill me if I got a tattoo (I also knew that so many girls must have that same conflict). Starting INKED by Dani was a no-brainer.

I started off with a collection of about only 10 designs and sold them at sorority houses around USC. Our unique concept for on-trend and fashion-forward tattoos was spreading through word of mouth, and we quickly started growing an Instagram following. I was hustling all day from my room, cold calling retailers, sending blind samples and tons of emails, and trying to open up as many opportunities as I could.

Now, we're sold at over 10,000 retail locations (retailers include Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Hot Topic), and we've transformed temporary tattoos into a whole new form of wearable art.

My 4 best tips for starting your own business are:

  1. Just go with your gut! You'll never know what works until you try it. Go day by day and do everything in your power to work toward your goals. Be bold, but be sure to be thoughtful in your actions.
  2. Research your competitors and other successful brands in your category to determine how you can make your product stand out. Figure out where there is a need or hole in the market that your new offering or approach can fill.
  3. Don't spread yourself too thin. Delegate where possible, and stay focused each day on doing the best and most you can. Don't get too caught up in your end goal or the big picture to a point where it overwhelms or freezes you. You're already making a bold move to start something new, so try to prioritize what's important! I started off in the beginning hand packing every single tattoo pack that we sold and shipped. If I wanted to scale to align with the level of demand we were receiving, I needed to make the pivot to mass produce and relinquish the control of doing every step myself. I am a total perfectionist, so that was definitely hard! From that point on, overseeing production has been a huge part of my daily schedule, but by doing so I've been able to free up more time to focus on design, merchandising, and sales, allowing me to really focus on growing the business.
  4. Prioritize great product packaging and branding. It's so important to invest time in customer experience- how customers view and interact with your product. The packaging is just as important as the actual product inside! When we were starting off, we had high demand, and I definitely jumped the gun a bit on packaging so we could deliver product to the retailers when they wanted it. Since then, we've completely revamped the packaging into something upscale and unique that reflects what the brand is all about. Our product packaging is always called out as being one of our retailers' and customers' favorite part of our product!