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The Good People Who Came From the 2016 Election

With the shock and sadness that came from the 2016 presidential election, it was hard for anyone to find something happy to distract themselves from it. The Joe Biden memes have defintely helped some, but the trend will not last forever, and sooner or later, everyone will have to come to terms with the truth that is staring us all in the face. With this in mind, I decided to highlight some of the amazing people that did come out of this election. Senators, governors, or legislators, these people are a good part of the future we have in front of us, and if things ever get too ugly, we know these people show us that not everything is too dark.

1. Tammy Duckworth

Tammy is the first Asian American woman elected to Congress in Illinois and is also the first female double-amputee veteran from Iraq. Born in Thailand to an American father and Thai mother, she grew up in many different locations, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Hawaii. She served in the Iraq War in 2004 and when her helicopter was struck, she lost both of her legs. During her recovery time, she became an activist, advocating for better medical care for wounded veterans. She has served as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs under Barack Obama and was in the U.S. House of Presentatives from 2013 until now. Her goals, as one can already tell, are aimed towards aiding veterans, housing resources, and health care.

2. Kate Brown 

Kate is the first openly LGBTQ+ governor in U.S. history. Brown was outed on her bisexuality in the 1980s, however, once her sexuality became public, she fully embraced it. Brown had a lot of say in advancing LGBTQ+ rights within her state of Oregon. She was a lawmaker when Oregon enacted the LGBT non-discrimination law and domestic partnership registration. She has given hope to the community and hopefully to the nation as well. When speaking on her sexuality, she said, "You can't be what you can't see. If I can be a role model for one young person that decides that their life is worth living because there's someone like them in the world, it's worth it." 

3. Catherine Cortez Masto

Catherine is the first Latina to win a U.S. Senate seat, representating her state of Nevada. Before her Senate win, she served two terms as the Attorney General of Nevada. Much of her work has been to strengthen laws preventing sex trafficking and violence against women. She has created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force in order to help middle-class families and protect consumers and homeowners. Her third biggest issue is focused on the protection of seniors, and has ensured that her prosecutors have the necessary tools to pursue those who neglect them. 

4. IIhan Omar

IIlan is the first Somali-American legislator of Minnesota. She recently served as the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowered East African woman to take leadership roles. She has created advisory groups for women, immigrants, and other miniorities who run or want to run businesses. Some of her many goals as legislator include banning environmentally harmful containers, requiring commercial recycling, lifting restrictions on urban agriculture, and restricting the use of pollinator-harming pesticides. Her role as legislator has already spread virally online and she will absolutely give representation and inspiration to so many people.

5. Tim Scott

Tim has been reelected as South Carolina's first black senator since Reconstruction. His agena, titled Opportunity Agenda, helps give initiatives to students and workers. His many goals include tax reform to increase economic freedom, expanding equal education for all children, and finding alternatives for single parents who need to work. One of his other main goals is pointed towards low-income communities, hoping to give families and children better opportunites and healthy, positive futures. 

6. Kamala Harris

Kamala became the second black woman to ever be elected to the Senate when she won a seat in California. Not only did she win this milestone, but back in 2011 when she took office as Attorney General, she was the state's first female and black Attorney General, as well as the first Tamil Attorney General in U.S. history. She has served in many committees, including the National Attorneys Association, the Democratic National Convention's Platform committee, the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice section and California's District Attorney's Association. Some of her biggest topics include global warming, healthcare reform, and medical marijuana.

7. Misty K. Snow

Misty is the first millennial to enter the Senate and she is one of the two first transgender women to win a major-party nomination in a federal election. Most of her concerns are focused on the income inequality in America, and especially how this impacts women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color. She has also been outspoken about her passion for the access of healthcare, clean air, and living wages for all people.

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Anastasia Armstrong. English Major at UMass Amherst.
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