Last Tuesday was a bad day for progressives, minorities, and women in the US elections. Not only did Donald Trump take home the top job of President, conservatives also won majorities in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate. But you may have missed an important step forward in Senate diversity.
There is now a record number of women of color in the Senate.
Prior to the election, only Hawaii's Mazie Hirono, who is Asian-American, served as a woman of color in the upper house. In 2006, she broke barriers by being the first woman from Hawaii and first female Asian-American elected to be a Senator.
Now, things will be less lonely for her, as three other women of color will be joining her. Namely, California's Kamala Harris, who was born of a Jamaican-American father and an Indian-American mother, was elected; then, there is Catherine Cortez-Masto, the first Latina and first female Senator from Nevada; and, notably, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who is now the first Thai-American Senator.
There are also speculations that Kamala Harris, who, prior to her Senate run, had served as California Attorney general, might be a viable 2020 Presidential candidate. She could potentially be the first female and first Indian-American President of the United States.
Another step moving forward is in the legalization of marijuana, which won big on election night.
Three states -- California, Massachusetts, and Nevada -- have approved an initiative for the recreational use of cannabis. Meanwhile, Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota have voted to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes! Montana also passed the measure to expand its medical use.
Gun Control Laws
And, on a very divisive issue of gun control, three states have voted to strengthen gun restrictions.
In Nevada, voters approved the measure to expand background checks on private gun purchases. California voted to deem large capacity magazines as illegal, to have required background checks, and to remove guns from those who have been convicted of violent misdemeanor and felony. Meanwhile, voters in Washington approved a measure that will give judges the authority to issue orders to law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from people who are considered a threat to themselves as well as others.
And, if increased Senate diversity, flexibility with marijuana use, and common sense gun control laws aren't enough to ease the pain of the overall results, just remember: there will be other upcoming elections in the future and more chances to make a difference.