Election Day 2017 wasn’t just a big day for Democrats. It was a big day for the diversity that makes up the Democratic Party and the United States of America, the diversity that Republicans campaigned so hard against. You have only to look at Virginia, which elected Justin Fairfax as lieutenant governor, just the second African-American statewide elected official in the state’s history. Virginia also elected its first two Latina members of the state House—Hala Ayala and Elizabeth Guzman—and its first Asian-American woman in that body—Kathy Tran—along with Danica Roem, a transgender woman who defeated the aggressively homophobic author of the state’s (failed) bathroom bill, and, immediately after election, showed what a gracious winner looks like.
Also in Virginia, Donte Tanner and Jennifer Carroll Foy flipped Republican-held seats. Another notable Virginia win, if one by a white man, was Chris Hurst, who ran for office after his girlfriend was shot and killed on the air while working as a television news reporter. Unsurprisingly, gun violence was an important part of Hurst’s platform.
But it’s not just Virginia.
In Washington state, Manka Dhingra flipped not just a seat but the entire state Senate from red to blue.
One of two state House special election wins in Georgia saw Deborah Gonzalez elected.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, elected the first openly transgender woman of color to public office in the United States—Andrea Jenkins will serve on the city council.
Hoboken, New Jersey, elected its first Sikh mayor, Ravi Bhalla, despite a racist flyer linking him to terrorism. New Jersey also elected Vin Gopal as its first Indian-American state senator.
Charlotte, North Carolina, elected Democrat Vi Lyles, who will be the city’s first an African-American woman as mayor.
St. Paul, Minnesota, elected Melvin Carter III as its first African-American mayor.
Helena, Montana, will also have a new black mayor. Wilmot Collins was a refugee from Liberia more than 20 years ago, and was part of a “progressive ticket” that elected two new members to the city commission.
There’s still a lot of work to be done between now and 2018, but take some time to celebrate 2017.
Powered by WPeMatico