Oakland, CA — In the past few days, you may have heard a lot about “the Squad,” a group of four Democratic freshmen congresswomen who are going head-to-head with both their own party leadership and President Donald Trump.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted about “‘Progressive’ Democratic Congresswomen” who should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1150381394234941448
Many interpreted the string of tweets as a racist attack on the four minority congresswomen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. The House of Representatives voted Tuesday on a resolution condemning the president’s "racist comments" targeting the lawmakers.
So who are the four congresswomen known as “the Squad?”
Ocasio-Cortez represents the 14th District of New York, a diverse, immigrant-filled region encompassing parts of the Bronx and Queens. She is a proud socialist and, along with fellow Squad-member Rashida Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
While Ocasio-Cortez has staunchly supported immigration and gender equality bills, her most prominent activism is for environmental legislation. She sponsored the Green New Deal, a sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in green energy, support economic equality and more. Although the Senate rejected the resolution, Ocasio-Cortez’s environmental activism continues to gain support from people including presidential candidates.
Omar represents the 5th District of Minnesota. Her election in the 2018 midterms marked many firsts — she is the first Somali-American member of Congress, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and, along with Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. Omar is a supporter of progressive legislation such as Medicare for All and College for All, as well as a critic of Israel.
She has also condemned the Trump administration’s immigration policies. She and the other Squad members were the only House Democrats to vote against the passage of H.R. 3401, a bill that would appropriate emergency funds to assist migrants at the U.S.–Mexico border. Omar cited the bill’s funding of ICE and other federal agencies as her reason for voting against the bill: “Throwing more money at the very organizations committing human rights abuses — and the very Administration directing these human rights abuses — is not a solution.”
Tlaib hails from Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, which includes part of Detroit. She is Palestinian-American and, along with Omar, one of the first two Muslim congresswomen.
After being sworn in, Tlaib became a viral sensation — garnering both passionate support and condemnation — after saying, “We’re going to impeach the motherf**ker,” in reference to Trump. Since then, Tlaib has pressed forward with calls for impeachment, making it a pillar of her platform.
Pressley, like her Squad-mates, has pushed the Democratic Party leftwards when it comes to issues like immigration, labor reform and the environment. Pressley also proposed an amendment to the For the People Act of 2019, a bill addressing voting access and equality, that would lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Pressley defended youth activism and voting, saying in a press release that “Our young people are at the forefront of some of the most existential crises facing our communities and our society at large.”