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ST. LOUIS – Cori Bush, a former community organizer, was sworn into the 117th Congress on Sunday, becoming the first Black woman to represent Missouri, as well as the state’s first registered nurse to serve in Congress.

Missouri’s newest congresswoman says her movement made this moment happen, and they will only continue making history. 

Rep. Bush wants to make sure she’s spending all of her time creating and fighting for meaningful legislation in the House of Representatives.

Bush says her victory is not only a personal achievement but for St. Louis and for every member of the movement. She says she’s the first person from the movement fighting for Black lives to be elected to Congress.

“Right now, Congress is not made up of many ordinary people like me — but we are changing that,” she said. “I’m a nurse, pastor, single mom, and Ferguson-made activist who has lived the struggles of my community. I’m ready to put regular, everyday people first, with solutions that are long overdue.

“Today is day one, and I am already getting to work to stop America from being led by the small-mindedness of a powerful few. We are ushering in a moment led by the imagination of a mass movement that includes all of us. I am working for all people.

“Together, we will use this seat to fight for real investment into social safety nets and social, political, and economic systems that actually work for all of us. We will protect Black lives by enacting meaningful and impactful criminal-legal reform while eradicating targeted, hateful discrimination that has hurt communities across this county, including my own.

“Change does not come from the halls of Congress unless we bring it here ourselves — and we’re bringing change to the 117th Congress.

“Let’s make some good trouble,” said Bush, echoing the spirit of the late Congressman John Lewis of Georgia.

Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Missouri). Photo by Deni Kamper