The group of young and progressive lawmakers of colour, dubbed as “The Squad,” with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the helm, on Sunday inducted two new members to the team as the House of Representatives convened for the 117th Congress.
Cori Bush, a freshman representative from Missouri and Jamaal Bowman, a representative-elect from New York, joined representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib’s high-profile group, taking the count of the members to six.
Sharing the photo, Ms Bush wrote, “Squad up,” while Mr Bowman, also the first male member of the team, tweeted, “Our Squad is big!”
The post also got support from the original members of the group. “Unbought and unbossed,” wrote Ms Omar. “Let’s go,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez added while Ms Pressley shared the image with the caption “The squad is big, family." “Let’s do this,” tweeted Ms Tlaib.
The Squad, elected in 2018, is known for backing progressive policies such as universal healthcare for all Americans and rallying for the green new deal, a proposal aimed to tackle climate change.
Representative Bush, a veteran racial justice activist, is the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Missouri.
“I’ve survived sexual assault, police abuse, domestic violence, and being unhoused and uninsured. That's not a unique pain I carry. It's one that so many of us live with each day,” tweeted Ms Bush as she took her seat in the Congress. “Today, I take my seat in Congress to fight for a world where nobody has to endure that pain.”
Congressman-elect Bowman, a former schoolteacher and principal, defeated incumbent congressman and House foreign affair committee chairman Eliot Engel from New York’s 16th congressional district and has long been seen as the ideological colleague of congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. Mr Bowman has been a vocal critique of racial discrimination and injustice and believes that current system of “capitalism is slavery by another name.”
In an interview with The Root, earlier in December, Mr Bowman said: “We’ve moved from physical chattel enslavement and physical racial segregation to a plantation economic system. One that keeps the majority of Americans unemployed, or underemployed and struggling just to survive, while the power elite continues to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, and allow large corporations to pretty much run the world as multinational corporations.”
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