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Cori Bush, the newly-elected Representative of Missouri, known for her primary victory upset over 10-time incumbent Lacy Clay, has a new role in Washington: House Judiciary Committee member. Representative Bush, who serves the greater St. Louis communities, is also on the House Committee for Oversight and Reform.
Ms. Bush is the first Black woman to represent Missouri in the House. She won her seat in 2020, a historic achievement for the woman whose previous attempts at primarying Mr. Clay were chronicled in the 2019 documentary, Knock Down the House.
Representative Bush is expected to be busy in her new role, where she will serve on an additional four subcommittees: House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security; the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution; Civil Right and Civil Liberties; the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy; and the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment.
Bush brings progressive politics to Missouri
Representative Bush’s progressive politics are new for Missouri. It’s a state whose attention to St Louis politics overshadows the rural residents who usually vote for far more conservative candidates. She is a single mother, a nurse, and a longtime Black Lives Matter supporter, going back to the death of Michael Brown, a teenager killed by law enforcement in Ferguson, MO, in 2014.
Representative Bush’s campaign was supported by the Justice Democrats, a group closely associated with “The Squad,” a group of four women of color serving in Congress. The Squad includes Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; and Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The Squad promotes progressive policies for the environment, social justice, universal healthcare, and transparency in government.
Democrat Bernie Sanders of Vermont also supported Ms. Bush. The Independent’s progressive policies have earned more and more support since Trump’s first term in office.
Representative Bush first stepped into the political arena following Michael Brown’s death, which led to protests across the state of Missouri, as well as the country. The nurse and pastor began organizing her St. Louis community in response to the police shooting, forming progressive coalitions and vocally supporting Black Lives Matter.
Thus, her victory in November over Mr. Clay, who succeeded his own father, ended 50 years of a political dynasty. Therefore, Representative Bush referenced her Black Girl Magic, and inspired future Black Sheros everywhere. “As the first Black woman and also the first nurse and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress, let me say this: To the Black women, the Black girls, the nurses, the essential workers, the single mothers, this is our moment.”