History was made this week on many fronts, one of which was the election of an unprecedented number of women to the 113th US Congress. Notable among these newly elected women are Elizabeth Warren, whose high-profile campaign was a rallying cry for progressives around the country, and Tammy Baldwin, who will become the first openly gay Senator. But given that demographics were an important backstory to the 2012 elections, the history made by women from immigrant communities is also worth noting.
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Several Asian American women established new milestones for our nation's highest legislative body. More than half, seven of 11, of Asian Americans elected to the 113th Congress are women. They will include Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who is shockingly only the second woman of color and the only Asian American woman ever elected to the Senate. In the House, Grace Meng (D) will become New York's first Asian American Congress member, and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) the first American Samoan elected as a voting member of Congress. They will both join Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a Thai-born, double amputee war hero, also elected on Nov. 6. And among Latinas, Congresswoman-elect Michele Lujan Grisham became the first Latina representative from New Mexico.