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HOUSTON’S LARGEST COUNTY ELECTS 19 BLACK WOMAN JUDGES

November 8, 2018

Only God and Black women can judge me, and it appears that the people of Houston, Texas agree. Harris County just elected all 19 Black women that ran for various judicial seats, further diversifying the third-largest county in the country. Even with the bittersweet results to come out of the midterm election, this is considered the single biggest win for Black women in the county’s history according to Cosmopolitan.com.

Women of color have been making history in the midterms, on a national and local level, and considering that Harris County encompasses most of Houston, this is a big step towards local criminal justice reform. The #Houston19 depict a shift towards a local judiciary that reflects the population it serves. The midterms also reflect this shift as Black women and other women of color have been elected at record levels, even under the Trump administration. According to Cosmo, “A similar thing happened during the 2016 election in Alabama—like Texas, a historically red state—when nine black women were elected as judges in Jefferson County.”

As impossible as it may seem, silver linings do emerge under this administration, in the form of the growing prioritization of local politics and the officials that shape it. Texas alone doubled the number of voters from the last midterm election, pulling in over 4,9 million early votes compared to the 4,7 million total votes tallies in the 2014 midterm. Local officials may not have power at a national level but local judges do oversee election procedures (a huge issue in these midterms), bail amounts and jury selection.

Black Girl Magic is coming for the government from the ground up. Before long, white men dominating such spaces could be a thing of the past.

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