For millions of people, the presidential election was a horrifying experience. There's a lot of people out there looking for light in the darkness.
So here's a little bit of electoral good news for progressive voters out there, from the Congressional level and the statewide level, to assure you that it isn't all a horror show. Despite everything, some good things happened on Election Day. It's now a little harder to believe in the theory of a universe that bends toward justice, but maybe these stories will restore a tiny sliver of faith.
There will be more women of color in the U.S. Senate than ever before
Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat from Nevada, defeated her Republican challenger to become the first Latina ever to serve in the Senate. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris coasted to a victory in California, and in the process becomes the first-ever biracial woman elected to the Senate. And Tammy Duckworth, a Thai-American, ousted Mark Kirk in Illinois to grab her Senate spot.
These three women join Hawaii's Mazie Hirono as the only women of color in the higher chamber.
The U.S. House of Representatives elected a series of historic firsts
In the lower chamber, meet this group of history-making folks:
- Pramila Jayapal, the first-ever Indian-American woman elected to Congress
- Darren Soto, the first-ever Puerto Rican elected to Congress in Florida
- Adriano Espaillat, the first-ever Dominican-American elected to Congress
- Lisa Rochester, the first-ever woman and African American elected to Congress in Delaware
This woman is the first-ever Somali-American state legislator
“It’s the beginning of something new,” Omar told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “This district has a legacy of making history. I am excited for our progressive values and to be able to be on the ground at the Capitol representing the diverse people of my district and being a champion with them and for them.”
Weed won big
Election Day results in Massachusetts, Nevada, and most importantly California point to a time in the near future where marijuana is legal all across the United States. After bills passed in all three states to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, over 20% of the country now lives in a state where pot is legal, according to the New York Times.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio went down
The embattled cop lost his Maricopa County Sheriff's spot to a Democrat, so at least this country can take solace in one crazy racist old white man falling short.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.