In the political climate today, it is so important for the LGBTQ community to not only be well-represented, but in positions of power. This election round, the voters seemed to agree. Diversification was the theme this November, and we couldn’t be more excited!
Danica Roem broke gender barriers by becoming Virginia’s first openly transgender lawmaker. She beat out candidate Robert Marshall for a position in the House of Delegates. Robert Marshall is a huge proponent of the “bathroom bill,” which if passed, would have prevented transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Roem’s victory over Marshall truly signifies that voters are in favor of celebrating diversity, not phobias and misogyny.
Virginia experienced even more diversification as Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala, two Latina women, won out over two incumbent Republicans for positions as delegates. Also, Kathy Tran won over another Republican, becoming Virginia’s first Asian-American female to hold a seat.
Minnesota then followed Virginia’s lead by electing Andrea Jenkins, America’s first openly transgender woman of color to hold an elected position in public office. She will now serve as a celebrated member Minneapolis’ city council.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Minneapolis, Melvin Carter was elected Mayor in St. Paul, making him the first African-American mayor in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Helena, Montana just elected its first black mayor. Wilmot Collins, a refugee from Liberia, just unseated incumbent Jim Smith, who held the position since the early 2000s.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Vi Lyles became the first female African-American mayor for the city. And in New Jersey the first ever Sikh, Ravinder Bhalla, was elected as Mayor of Hoboken. Both of these victories ar monumental, as they bring an unprecedented sense of diversity to the public arena, giving minorities a stronger voice and sense of advocacy.
Women also won big. Joyce Craig shattered the long-standing, 170-year-old glass ceiling in Manchester, New Hampshire by being elected as the first female mayor. And over in Nashua, Shoshanna Kelly became the City Alderman, making her the city’s first woman of color to be elected.
In Palm Spring, California, Lisa Middleton was elected to City Council, making her the first transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in the state. And just north of California in Seattle, Jenny Durkan was elected as the first openly lesbian mayor.
As reflected by this election round’s results, politics are looking up and making a change for the better. Diversity is what makes America so awesome, and it appears that voters really are making America great again!