Three days into 2019, Victory Institute took a “Victory Lap” to celebrate the opening day of the 116th Congress. As members of the most diverse Congress in American history were sworn in, Victory’s welcome committee went to Capitol Hill to personally congratulate all ten openly LGB members of Congress – a historic achievement for the LGBTQ community.
Every two years on the first day of a new Congress, several members hold open houses so friends, family members, former campaign staffers, and constituents can take part in the day’s festivities. Proudly representing the larger Victory family, Ruben Gonzales, Victory Institute Vice President, Seth Schermer, Victory Institute Vice President of Development, Sean Meloy, Victory Fund Political Director, and I presented framed “Rainbow Wave” placards to four new out members of the U.S. House of Representatives – U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA 25), U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH 1), U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS 3), and U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN 2).
The welcome committee also greeted the four returning Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus co-chairs, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI 2), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA 41), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI 1), and Sen. Patrick Maloney (D- NY 18). Then, we trekked over to the Senate side to congratulate U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on their success and to wish them well.
“LGBTQ Americans understand the significance of having ten out members of Congress, and they understand how their presence will translate into progress,” Ruben Gonzales said. “But, the best part about 2018’s Rainbow Wave is that there is an undeniable level of excitement within our community around this class of LGBTQ lawmakers. Make no mistake, Victory Institute will seek to build on this excitement as we look toward 2019 and 2020.”
If there is an early takeaway from 2019, it is that LGBTQ Americans will have a larger voice throughout the halls of Congress. And, we’re only getting started.