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It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that the 117th Congress would be the most diverse ever. The past six congresses have increasingly bested the last by including more and more non-white lawmakers. And this class is not only racially and ethnically diverse, there are more women and members of the LGBTQ community, too.

With about a quarter of voting members (23%) in the House of Representatives and Senate now belonging to a racial or ethnic minority, and with women accounting for slightly more than a quarter of seats, Congress is getting closer to being demographically reflective of the country.

Joining this class meant immediately becoming a part of history, in more ways than one. For freshman lawmakers, their first week on the job will always be marked by a violent insurrection. January 6th was already fever-pitched for newcomers and veterans alike. Lawmakers arrived to vote to certify the election for Joe Biden, while then-President Donald Trump held a rally within earshot contesting the election results. And soon enough some of Trump’s followers stormed the Capitol.

The day of January 6 left a pall over the country and visual reminders around the Capitol in the form of the fenced off complex and increased military and police presence. It also left a mark on this new class of lawmakers.

This content was originally published here.

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