November 2017 Elections: What Went Down

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After the very controversial 2016 presidential election, many were left scared and frightened, fearing their political representatives would not represent them. I know I was one of those people. All throughout this past year, the emphasis on voting in the local government elections has increased dramatically. The real question though was, were people going to listen to this plea for voting in local elections? Or would we just ignore them like we used to before Trump’s presidency?

 

I think the proof is in the pudding for this one. So many great things happened in this past local election that would help ease the minds of those who feared for their rights. Here are the highlights of what went down on November 7th, 2017!

 

Chris Christie finally was removed from his seat as New Jersey Governor:

Chris Christie has been a controversial figure ever since Trump’s campaign, and has received a lot of criticism for things he’s done in his past, like Bridgegate, where his political agenda led Christie to create traffic jams in New Jersey. He also ordered a state government shutdown because of an insurance budget deadlock and then vacationing at one of the state parks that he just closed...not to mention that his approval rating as governor was the lowest that we’ve seen in the past twenty years! They term-limited Christie so he could not run for a third consecutive term, and he was replaced by democratic candidate Phil Murphy, which was a huge sigh of relief for Democrats (or anyone that opposed Christie in general!)

Ralph Northam won governor of Virginia by a large margin:

Ralph Northam, a Democratic candidate, beat out Ed Gillespie by the most votes for a Democrat since literally 1985! The voter turnout in Virginia was especially high, so this was a surprising and comforting win for Democrats!

 

 

Democrats all over America won back seats:

You don’t have to be a political expert to see that Democrats were very successful in this election! Democrats now have full control over 9 states, giving hope to people everywhere who felt unrepresented by Republican candidates.

 

Minority groups are finally getting leadership roles!

Jenny Durkan will serve as Seattle’s first openly lesbian mayor. Ravi Bhalla will become the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken, which is a New Jersey first, and he won despite racist flyers that circulated about him. Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala will be the first two Latinas to serve on the Virginia House of Delegates. Danica Roem will be the first openly transgender person as a state representative in the history of the US. Andrea Jenkins will be the first openly transgender person of color to serve on a city council in Minneapolis. Vi Lyles will be the first woman person of color to serve as mayor of Charlotte, NC. These are HUGE successes for minority groups everywhere.

This election may not have seemed like a huge deal to a lot of people, but as you can see, it made a huge difference in our current political climate! It has inspired hope in people that haven’t felt that emotion since before November 2016. It shows that the people still have the power, regardless of how powerless we may feel sometimes. Like Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This past election has proved to everyone that we are not ready for our lives to end. We are just getting started.