If you’ve been monitoring elections returns with an eye to gender and intersectionality, you know that the record number of women candidates for national office translated to an important increase of women in the US house, a slight decrease in the Senate, and a return to the record of nine women governors across the country. You also know that the exciting story nationally has been the many historic “firsts” for people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants and others gaining federal office for the first time – what Van Jones and others call the “rainbow wave.” But what do these patterns look like at the state level? We dug into the data of one midwestern state, Minnesota, and see some similar increases of women (and men) of color gaining statewide or federal elected offices, but the numbers of women and LGBTQ people in the state legislature have declined slightly.

The politicization of the migrants’ journey has obfuscated the far more serious humanitarian crisis unfolding at the Southern border. Central Americans are arriving to seek protection from entrenched forms of violence and deep inequalities in their countries. And, as the images of the women, many carrying children, in the caravan hint at, it is a humanitarian crisis that affects women and girls especially.