Marilyn Strickland congressional ceremony

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland made history on Sunday, becoming the first Korean-American woman elected to congress and the first African-American woman to represent Washington State at a federal level. Strickland was elected to represent Washington's 10th congressional district. 

Strickland also was the first woman to wear a Hanbok during the ceremony, a traditional dress of the Korean people worn to honor her heritage. 

“Today, I was honored to be sworn into one of the most historically diverse Congresses in history, joining a record number of women, and women of color, serving in our Democratic Majority. As a woman of both Korean-American and African-American descent, it was deeply personal to wear my Hanbok, which not only symbolizes my heritage and honors my mother, but also serves as a larger testament to the crucial importance of diversity in our nation, state, and the People’s House" said Strickland in a press release after the ceremony. 

On her first day in the Capitol, Strickland made her priorities clear. “In the midst of a deadly pandemic and economic downturn, Congress has a lot of work to do for frontline workers, families, and small businesses. The people of my district made history by sending me here to ensure that their government successfully addresses the priorities of WA-10, including tackling this pandemic, rebuilding our economy, creating jobs by investing in the South Sound, solving the climate crisis, and lowering the cost of health care. They elected a leader to always put our district first, and that is exactly what I intend to do. During a time when politics has become more and more divided, our district needs a Representative who is willing to work across the aisle and find common-sense solutions to deliver for Washingtonians.”

“As my D.C. and District Offices become operational, my staff and I will always put the citizens of the Washington Tenth first— from helping constituents navigate stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, small business aid, COVID-19 testing, to federal agencies. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, the Washington Delegation, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and across the aisle to deliver for the South Sound. Our community has shown incredible strength in the face of this crisis, and together, I am confident that we will build a brighter future for our community and those across our nation this Congress.”

Today's ceremony welcomes in the 117th Congress for the United States of America.