Diversity shook the country in this November’s election in the United States. The American people saw racial and religious minorities, as well as members of the LGBTQ community, create historic moments in our political and governing landscape. This collective moment of celebrating the diversity of our public officials differs immensely from the current administration’s divisive messaging. The following are some of the elected officials across the nation that play a part in creating a government that represents everyone.
African American Mayors
The states of North Carolina, Minnesota, Georgia and South Carolina found many of their major cities electing African American mayors. In the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, Vi Lyles, who was the city’s assistant manager, won the mayoral race and took the title of Charlotte’s first black female mayor. Minnesota also elected an African American mayor in St. Paul which marked the first person of color to succeed in a mayoral race. Cairo and Statesboro, Georgia along with Georgetown, South Carolina all elected Black mayors for the first time in their city’s history. Booker Gainor, Jonathan McCollar and Brendon Barber, have all made strides to bring positive change to the course of history.
Other Diverse Wins
The first Sikh mayor was elected into office in New Jersey. Ravinder Bhalla, who was the Hoboken City Councilman, is an Indian American who was born in New Jersey and now has the title as the first Sikh mayor elected in the state. One of the most notable wins covered in the media was Danica Roem, who became the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature. Roem unseated Robert Marshall, who had deemed himself as the state’s “chief homophobe” and was the creator of the failed “bathroom bill” to prevent transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their identified gender.
While you may not agree with their policies or agendas, it is important that we continue to show a representation of various groups and “minorities” across the country. It promotes engagement of underrepresented citizens from coast to coast. Many Americans tend to forget that many groups did not even have the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965. Many barriers have been put in place to repress people of color and women from voting. Take a moment and bask in the beacon of progress this election season and always continue to exercise your right to vote for public officials who represent ideas that you believe in for the good of our country.