Lack of Diversity in Government

 

Dear future president,

First, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Mireya Raya Medina, I am a first generation college student with a passionate concern for the absence of diversity in our government. It is a well known fact that the United States is a diverse country not just ethnically, but in religions, genders, and sexualities. Here you can find over 300 languages, hundreds of religions, people from almost every part of the world, and a growing LGBTIQ+ community. So why is our government mainly white, cisgender, hetersosexual, Christian males?

This country is made up of about 40% minorities, yet they don’t even fill a quarter of state or congressional offices. Some might say that it is because they do not run for office or there aren’t many qualified for the position and if that is true it is because minorities are apart of a system where they are constantly compared to their statistics and have trouble fighting against them. After being labeled something for so long it’s a little hard to keep yourself determined to not be that because of cultural backgrounds. Personally, a stereotype that I fight as a child of Mexican immigrants is dropping out of school, possibly getting pregnant and living off welfare. The first stereotype has proven to be the hardest,  as both my parents never got the chance to go to college. My mother dropped out in 6th grade to work for her family and my father didn’t finish what is considered high school over in Mexico. Although I have been a good student with exceptional grades, there have been times that I’ve thought that quitting and getting a job to help my family would be a better option right now. Many minorities come from similar backgrounds and for a lot of us the latter has been our solution, maybe if we didn’t constantly feel chained by our stereotypes and situations more of us would pursue higher careers that would lead to more of us in government. Maybe if the path to live in the United States legally and become a citizen was easier more of us would go out and vote for candidates that we relate with because they do run but they do not win.

Since we live in a patriarchal society, the voices of women are often silenced including in issues that pertain to us exclusively. An example would be the debate of a woman’s right to choose or planned parenthood in general. Male politicians seem to have the loudest voice in this matter trying to pass legislation against abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood. Women politicians should be at the center of their issues creating movements, having discussions, and getting congress to make laws protecting our rights. I’m tired of men telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with my body or the way I should handle a situations to satisfy their religious views. If we had more trustworthy, strong leading women in our government I am certain better decisions would be made, it is only fair that women make choices for women.

Another big group that is a missing puzzle piece in our government are those in the LGBTIQ+ community. I am aware we have a few openly out members in the House of Representatives and I believe one lesbian in the senate, but that is nowhere near enough or even sufficiently representative. There is not one transperson in our congress right now or has there ever been. They face issues of discrimination, mental illness, targeted killings, and dealing with transitioning. In 2015 the U.S. transgender homicide rate hit a record high and they were mainly people of color as.  It is the job of our president to make sure everyone in this country can feel included and safe not only from foreign enemies but domestic ones as well.

It doesn’t take much to be able to conclude that every non-white group in this country is underrepresented, which means we are not being heard. It is impossible to successfully run a democracy without each group’s voice being taken into account. This major fault has been apart of the U.S. since it formed hundreds of years ago and it has stayed consistent. To this day our “representatives” are not diverse, they are not my voice, they are not the face of America. You, as our new president, have the power to start a movement to call for a more diverse congress. It might take some time but representation matters, it plants a seed for future generations to grow and prosper.

 

Thank you for your time, sincerely,

Mireya Raya Medina

CC BY-SA 4.0 Lack of Diversity in Government by Mireya Raya is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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