What Sharice Davids Victory Means to Me
I was fortunate enough to attend Sharice Davids watch party in Olathe, Kansas last night. I was equally excited as I was anxious. As a young voter, I sincerely believed it to be the most important election I’ve participated in thus far. There was a lot at stake; all 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for grabs. Candidates across the country were breaking the mold, and I got to be a part of this living history.
Sharice’s campaign was deemed unconventional by pretty much everyone. Being Native American, Lesbian, and raised by a single mother, her existence as part of the minority is inherently political. While “unconventional,” Sharice’s story isn't particularly unique. Myself, my friends, my family, and my neighbors all lead similar lives. I’d venture to say more Americans can relate to her than the actuality of her campaign being unconventional.
It's important to remember that "minority" doesn’t mean a specific group is small in numbers, but that there’s less of them in power. The "majority" simply refers to the group who has the most power. And that’s why Sharice Davids campaign was so important. She doesn’t only just understand what most of our lives are like, she’s actually lived it.
Myself, other students and community groups stood on stage with Sharice as she delivered her speech. I examined the crowd; I saw weeping, cheering, smiling, hugging and clapping. Most of all, I saw hope in the eyes of my community. This was a raw kind of hope. It was tired and relieved and dignified and humbling. I’ve never seen or felt that magnifying joy the way I did last night. It was inspiring. I felt powerful standing next to Sharice. This was a shared dream of many and now it was finally real and tangible right before our very eyes.
I watched Sharice's mom who stood beside her. Her eyes were transfixed on her daughter. You could feel how proud she was. It was a beautiful sight. I thought of my mom back home. I thought of my sisters, aunts, grandmas, and all of the amazing women who have given life to me and continue to do so every day.
Sharice's campaign started out as a possibility, and her victory is a definite testimony that our dreams are attainable no matter who we are. Students, women, people of color, the LGBT+ community, our voices are more than just being heard. By voting, campaigning, and supporting candidates who reflect us, we are actually speaking for ourselves. This change cannot be undone. We're going to reach even greater heights. This is only the beginning.