By Alex Johnson
At the time of writing this it is 6:36 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. The polls closed yesterday but we are still, as expected, left with a lot of anxiety and few answers. It is easy to feel overwhelmed right now, especially if you are an individual who’s rights could be affected by this election.
There are some things we know; however, and, despite some let-downs, there are some good stories scattered across individual states where smaller races are being called. I want to take a moment and highlight a few so, regardless of the result, we can find some hope.
“The Squad” is re-elected
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilham Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, often referred to as “The Squad”, all reclaimed their US Congress seats. The four women of color are known for their unapologetic progressivism. While things are still up in the air on the overall election, it is nice to know some areas are still happy with progress.
Portland votes for police oversight
In an effort to curb police brutality, Portland, Ore., which recently suffered outbreaks of violence, voted to create a civilian-run police oversight committee. The committee would replace the Independent Police Review in investigating misconduct or complaints. This could be a step towards more transparency in police action, especially if more cities or even states start following this model.
Cori Bush becomes Missouri’s first Black congresswoman
Not only is Cori Bush Missouri’s first Black congresswoman, she has also been an engaged Black Lives Matter activist for the past six years and counting. Between the history making election win and her passionate activism, some speculate she may become the newest member of The Squad.
Voting rights for CA parolees returned
The state of California reinstated voting rights for felons that are on parole. Individuals who have served their time and are re-entering society should be able to make choices on said society. Although critics often claim moves like this favor Democrats in major elections, it is unlikely CA will go red regardless of who votes; what this will do is allow residents to have more input on their own communities.
Delaware elect’s nation’s first transgender state senator
Activist Sarah McBride became the nation’s first transgender state senator and Delaware’s first LGBTQ+ person elected to their legislature. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride said on Twitter. This was not just a win for the Democrats, but for representation and equality.
Regardless of how tonight, tomorrow, next week, next year, etc. goes, there are many “wins” like this across the country already and potentially more to come. Although it can often seem hopeless, I hope it is helpful to see there are still people fighting for representation and equality.