Welcome to Word Vomit Wednesday! A series of blog posts about a specific topic from current events that I, and sometimes the rest of the Internet, ruminate obsessively about. All thoughts/opinions/experiences are my own; I don’t claim anything that I write to represent anyone other than myself.
This time last year I parted ways with my girlfriends, bleary-eyed and in a fog. We didn’t even finish watching the coverage because we knew where it was heading. This time last year my numbness from shock slowly morphed into dread as I cocooned myself in a shield of blankets as the realization of how much more danger my life and the lives of many began to sink in. I was mortified, humiliated, and utterly heartbroken. The eerie silence of the street outside my window as the sky cried echoed my state of mind and the minds of many that day. This time last year I didn’t know how we were going to make it through the next 24 hours let alone the next two years. Last night, a year later, I finally feel relief. Our fear fueled into action made an enormous impact. Look at what we accomplished:
Congratulations to Danica Roem. Roem made history by becoming Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official. Not only that, but she beat the legislator who authored the abhorrent and infamous Bathroom Bill. Let that sink in for a second. She will be joining Virginia’s House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Larry Krasner on becoming Philly’s new DA. As a civil rights lawyer, he has made a career of defending activists, standing up to and suing law enforcement.
Congratulations to Phil Murphy on his gubernatorial win in New Jersey.
Congratulations to Andrea Jenkins on becoming the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the US to the Minneapolis City Council.
Congratulations to Ralph Northam on his gubernatorial win in Virginia.
Congratulations to Lee Carter on his win in Virginia’s House of Delegates in the 50th district.
Congratulations to Justin Fairfax on becoming Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and only the second African-American to win a statewide post in Virginia since Reconstruction.
Congratulations to Sheila Oliver on becoming Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, and being the first African-American woman to hold that title.
Congratulations to Michelle De La Isla on becoming Mayor of Topeka, Kansas.
Congratulations to Ravi Bhalla on becoming the first Sikh American mayor in US history, of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Congratulations to Mazahir Salih, a Sudanese immigrant, on being elected to the City Council of Iowa City.
Congratulations to Vi Lyles on becoming the first African-American woman mayor of Charlotte, Virginia.
Congratulations to the state of Maine for putting your health first and expanding Medicaid.
Congratulations to community activist Justin Brannan on winning a City Council seat in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Congratulations to Bill de Blasio on his second term mayoral win in NYC. (Please be better because you’ve kinda sucked these past few years. Good talk. Love, New Yorkers).
Congratulations to Chris Hurst on joining Virginia’s House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Attorney General Mark Herring on his re-election win in Virginia.
Congratulations to Joyce Craig on becoming the first woman to serve as Mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Congratulations to Michael A. Soriano on becoming Mayor of Parsippany, New Jersey.
Congratulations to Manka Dhingra for her special election Senate seat win in Washington State.
Congratulations to Yvonne Spicer on becoming the first mayor of Framingham, Massachusetts.
Congratulations to Janet Diaz on becoming the first Latina member of the City Council in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Congratulations to Booker Gainor on becoming the first African-American mayor of Cairo, Georgia.
Congratulations to Laura Curran on becoming the first woman to hold the County Executive title in New York’s Nassau County.
Congratulations to Lisa Middleton on becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in California, joining the City Council of Palm Springs.
Congratulations to Wilmot Collins on becoming mayor of Helena, Montana. He is a refugee from Liberia, and is the first black mayor in Montana’s history.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Guzman on becoming one of the first Latinas elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Hala Ayala on becoming one of the first Latinas elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Melvin Carter on becoming the first African-American mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Congratulations to Lydia Edwards on being elected to District 1 of Boston’s City Council.
Congratulations to Kim Janey on being elected to District 7 of Boston’s City Council.
Congratulations to Jennifer Foy on being elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Wendy Gooditis on being elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Kathy Tran on being the first Asian-American woman elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Jennifer Boysko on being elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Kelly Fowler on being elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Congratulations to Tyler Titus on becoming the first openly transgender man elected to a seat on the Erie School Board in Pennsylvania.
Congratulations to Delaware County (Delco) on becoming Democrat-controlled for the first time since Pennsylvania became a state in 1787.
Congratulations to Jerry Shi on being elected to the Edison, New Jersey School Board.
Congratulations to Falguni Patel on being elected to the Edison, New Jersey School Board.
Congratulations to Jonathan McCollar on becoming the first African-American mayor of Statesboro, Georgia.
Congratulations to Brendan Barber on becoming the first African-American mayor of Georgetown, South Carolina.
Congratulations to Mary Parham Copelan on becoming the first African-American mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia.
Congratulations to Vernetta Alston, a queer death penalty attorney who has helped exonerate black men with DNA evidence, for being elected to the Durham City Council.
Congratulations to Jenny Durkan on becoming Seattle’s first woman mayor since the 1920s (the first was Bertha Knight Landes in 1926) and first lesbian mayor at that.
Congratulations to Phillipe Cunningham on becoming the second openly transgender person to be elected to the Minneapolis City Council.
A majority of these positions that once were red now bleed blue. And a fuck ton of old, white, cis-het, republican men were rightfully fired from their positions. Exclusion and discrimination are disqualifiers. We don’t need public servants who only serve a portion of the public. This time last year everything changed. More people were inspired to take action, run for office, and fight for the America that we want to be and not the America we’ve historically been. Our resistance is strong and yesterday was just the tip of the iceberg. History was made and we wholly deserve to celebrate this moment. Then we get back to work.
Katie Louchheim says “Onward and upward!”