Take a Moment to Celebrate Major Wins from this Election
There is so much more to celebrate.
There is so much more to celebrate.
Text: Juliana Bakumenko
Aside from Biden and Harris winning the presidential election, we also look upon some of the groundbreakings wins to the re-election of officials who are actually focused on championing progress, meet the newly (re)elected officials who give us a glimmer of hope.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib (aka The Squad)
Starting off with some names you’re already probably familiar with, all four members of the political “Squad” have been re-elected to their seats in Congress.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a representative of New York, Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley, a representative of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan, are four progressive women of color who all made history with their initial wins and time in office, garnering solid support bases even while facing outlandish attacks from the media and the President himself.
Individually, these four have done a significant amount for marginalized communities in their own constituencies as well as the nation, and we’re hopeful to see this continue in their next term.
Already receiving calls to become the fifth member of “The Squad,” community leader and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush is the first Black woman to represent the state of Missouri in Congress. Elected to the House of Representatives, Bush won in a landslide, running on a progressive platform in support of the Green New Deal and Medicare for all.
Upon winning her victory, Bush gave an empowering speech, giving us even more hope for all that she represents. “As the first Black woman and also the first nurse and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress, let me say this: To the Black women, the Black girls, the nurses, the essential workers, the single mothers, this is our moment.”
Former middle school founder and principal in the Bronx, Jamaal Bowman has won a seat in the House of Representatives for New York’s 16th Congressional District. Running on a platform of dismantling mass incarceration and advocating for an eviction moratorium, Bowman is a welcome voice of change for the people.
Activist Sarah McBride has also made history as the first openly-identifying transgender person to be elected and to serve as a state senator. McBride has previously made history as the first openly transgender person to work in the White House as an intern under President Obama’s administration as well as the first transgender speaker at the Democratic National Convention.
The Delaware State Senator is now the highest ranking transgender official in the nation, hoping to inspire and lead the way for younger members of the LGBTQIA community.
Jones is the Democratic U.S. Representative-elect for New York’s 17th congressional district, one of the first openly gay Black men to be elected to Congress. Jones has run on a strong progressive platform, dedicated to tackling systems of oppression and guaranteeing fundamental rights for all.
Alongside Jones, Ritchie Torres has also become one of the first openly gay Black members of Congress. Representing New York’s 15th district, Torres is an Afro-Latino politician, previously the first openly gay official to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx. Advocating for better public housing and programs to address racially concentrated poverty, Torres’ victory is yet another sign of hope for marginalized communities.
Winning a State House seat in Oklahoma, Mauree Turner has become the first non-binary person to ever be elected to a state legislature and the first Muslim legislator in Oklahoma. This is a major milestone for non-binary folk, the LGBTQIA community as a whole, and the Black community, and we may see Turner even closer to the White House in a few years. This is a monumental win, and we’re hopeful for what they’ll do next for both Oklahoma and the nation.
Small has become the first openly transgender person to be elected to the Vermont state legislature, running both as a Democrat and as a progressive. Working to increase LGBTQIA visibility and community building, Small has participated in Drag Queen Story Hour in Vermont libraries to promote safe, queer spaces. The nation could use a lot more of that.
Former public school teacher Stephanie Byers has made history as Kansas’s first elected transgender and Indigenous official to win the Kansas House of Representatives 86th District. Named National Educator of the Year by GLSEN in 2018, the Chickasaw Nation member serves as an inspiration for younger members of the LGBTQIA community.
Scientist and politician Brianna Titone has been re-elected as a Colorado State representative, and was the first openly transgender state legislator elected in Colorado when she first won. Titone champions a platform of climate action, LGTBQIA rights, and educational opportunity, and we’re glad to see her victorious again. Yay for science!
While we clearly still have a long way to go for true equality and progress in this nation, these are some monumental steps. We urge you to get to know your representatives, make your voices and concerns heard to them. If you don’t feel represented in this nation’s government, support candidates who make you feel that way, or think about running yourself.
In the meantime, let’s celebrate these elected officials who represent communities that have lacked proper representation for so long. We hope they give you hope.