You’ve heard about Obama’s reelection, the Democrats’ victories in the Senate, the passage of gay marriage rights and marijuana legalization in multiple states, but there was even more to celebrate for progressives in this election. Here are 5 small but big victories:
1. New Hampshire elected a transgender State Representative.
Stacie Laughton is a transgendered person who identifies as female, and will be representing the people of New Hampshire’s Ward 4 in the state legislature of New Hampshire. "We are people, too, who still have talents and ideas,” said Laughton in an interview with the Nashua Telegraph. “And I hope that people won’t be afraid to get into politics, or any other position, for that matter. I want the community to feel inspired."
2. Hawaii elected the first Buddhist to the Senate and the first Hindu to the House of Reps.
Mazie Hirono is Hawaii’s next senator and a Buddhist. Tulsi Gabbard prevailed in her race for the Representative of Hawaii’s second congressional district, and she is Hindu. Both are the first of their religion to be elected to their respective chambers. "These are all signs of dharmic communities being accepted in the country," said Anju Bhargava, founder of Hindu American Seva Charities. "It's all about inclusion and acceptance. The feeling that my faith and my people are accepted. Ultimately, politics comes down to 'how does it impact me?' or 'how am I included?' It will mean so much for the upcoming generations of Hindus and Buddhists."
3. Berkeley Became The First City To Reject A Sit-Lie Ordinance
Measure S, which would have made it illegal to sit on the street in a commercial zone appears headed for failure. Berkeley is the first city to reject such an ordinance. Why is this a good thing? Because these measures don’t do a thing to alleviate homelessness, it merely harasses the homeless and gives them fines that they can’t pay.
4. Colleen Lachowitz Smashed the Glass Ceiling for Orcs with a Two-Handed Gladiator Axe
Lachowitz is Maine’s newest state senate representative in the outer world, and a level 85 orc in World of Warcraft. Can someone tell me, in which world is she more powerful?
5. “By the way, we have to fix that.”
One of the most notable lines from Obama’s speech in Chicago after he had been reelected, and quite possibly an ad-lib, the newly reelected president was referring to the lines people all across the country waited in for many hours in order to vote, especially on early voting days. Increased turnout generally favors Democrats, so expect some foot-dragging here, but honestly more turnout is better for democracy, and Obama’s line sounded like he intends to do what he can to make voting easier in elections to come.
Image credit: Reuters