During the 2018 midterm elections, a historic number of women and candidates from underrepresented communities ran for office — and forever changed the idea of what Congress looks like. The Netflix documentary Knock Down the House, streaming now, is an intimate, and throughly inspiring, portrait of some of their campaigns.
The film follows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Paula Jean Swearengin of West Virginia as they mount primary challenges against some of the most powerful Democrats in the country.
Establishment politics has long rejected the idea that women like them — working class, outspoken, progressive, from underrepresented communities — are even meant to run for office. But they all did, throwing themselves into their races with the passion and determination of those committed to creating change for their communities. "It takes extra courage to run in a race where no one expects anyone to run," director Rachel Lears told Refinery29. "They had to draw on these personal experiences of loss and hardship to have the courage and the strength to do this."
By now, you probably know that only one of the four candidates was successful in her bid: AOC. But that doesn’t mean their work is over. Ahead, a look at what each of the women is doing today.
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