They’re calling it a rainbow wave. Not a blue wave. Not a red wave. But a multi-colorful, multi-cultural wave of small and grand acts of progress and a distinct need for and in celebration of diversity. While the numbers still show damage and dissociation with white women voters, the numbers also showed me that so much can be done. As a black and Latinx woman (my dad was Panamanian) I saw the candidates, the nail-biting loses (so close and still such an obvious win in progress), as a push forward in wins for the people. “The more Americans who vote, the more our elected leaders look like America.” Barack Obama said in a statement earlier today. These wins and hard-fought loses cannot and should not be ignored. They also don’t excuse us from a continued fight for progress in politics.
+ Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx, became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress at just 29.
+ Tish James became the first Black woman elected as attorney general in New York. She also is the first Black woman elected to statewide office and the first black person to serve as attorney general.
+ Veronica Escobar of El Paso and Sylvia Garcia of Houston are the state’s first Latinas to serve in the House of Representatives.
+ Jahana Hayes, is the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress!
+ Ayanna Pressley is the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in the House of Representatives.
+ Sharice Davids, is the first lesbian Native American woman elected to the House of Representatives.
+ Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
+ Lucy McBath, a black woman (her son was killed by a white man after turning up his music in a car) who is running for Congress in Georgia, is leading and locked in a recount.
+ Jared Polis, a wealthy Democratic congressman in Colorado, became the first openly gay man elected as governor in any state.
+ Stacy Abrams, a black woman from Georgia is still fighting, waiting for every vote to be counted (and rightfully, recounted if necessary).
+ And of course, I was shown that a black man could pull out staggering numbers (less than a .6 margin) in an attempt to be the first black Governor of Florida, despite obvious racist attacks. Wow.
+ Other leaps of faith and celebratory measures for marginalized communities and POC: In Florida, Amendment 4 was passed, restoring voting rights to approximately 1.5 million people convicted of felonies! In Nashville, Tennesse Amendment 1 was overwhelmingly passed. This amendment is in direct response to the shootings of two black men by police.