Women Slayed On Election Day. Here's How You Can Keep Up The Momentum.
Women showed muscle in Virginia especially, on Election Day. Here's how you can keep building on that momentum.
Waking up on November 8th this year has been a real mixed bag. Doubtless, many of you are getting “one year ago today” reminders from Facebook with photos of you proudly rocking your “I Voted” stickers, all hopeful, confident smiles as Hillary Clinton stood to make history as the first female President of the United States.
Oof. Yeah. Still stings. There’s not enough Neosporin in the world to disinfect some of the wounds that have been opened this year, and to say that it’s been a frustrating, terrifying ten months for wide swaths of the population is laughably inadequate.
But this morning also brings with it some shiny new bright spots: Democrats scored some of the biggest and most significant wins since Trump took office, and it was a *huge* night for female candidates. It’s widely being viewed as a rejection of the Trump administration’s leadership and policies. Behold:
- With a more decisive win than expected in what was considered to be one of the most significant battles of Election Day, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie in the gubernatorial race in Virginia. Though Gillespie distanced his campaign from Trump himself, he largely ran on the same anti-immigration, “law and order” platform. But Virginia said “nay.”
- Elsewhere in Virginia, Democrats wiped out the Republican majority in the state House of Delegates, gaining control of at least 15 seats in what’s considered a major upset. And among those badasses…
- Former journalist Danica Roem made history by becoming the first openly transgender elected official. And here’s the goddamn cherry on top: She ousted 13-term incumbent Robert G. Marshall, who referred to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and was the author of a transphobic “bathroom bill” that never got the votes to move forward.
- Elizabeth Guzmán and Hala Ayala became the first Latinas elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, beating out long-term incumbents and adding authoritative punctuation on the message sent by sweeping Democratic wins in Virginia.
- Democrat Jenny Durkan won the mayoral race in Seattle, Washington, becoming the first female mayor there in nearly a century. She is replacing former Mayor Ed Murray, who resigned in September after allegations of child sex abuse emerged.
- Democrat Vi Lyles became the first black woman to be elected Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, beating out City Councilman Kenny Smith in a 58-41 vote.
- Democrat Phil Murphy ousted Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, putting an end to Christie’s eight-year reign.
All in all, many reasons to celebrate, not the least among them the history-making women who won big yesterday.
But for all the hard work it took to yield these results, this is only the beginning. The 2018 midterm elections stand to be one of the most high-stakes races in recent history. Women have demanded a seat at the table like never before over the course of this last year, and must continue to do so. Below, check out these resources on how to get involved with political campaigns and even run for office yourself (do it!):
- Emily’s List is a training platform for women seeking office. Less than a year after the 2016 election, the organization reported that upwards of 20,000 women have reached out seeking information on running for office.
- She Should Run is currently running a campaign to get 250,000 women running for elected office by 2030. Get in there, girlfriend.
- Women’s Campaign School at Yale University is a non-partisan organization dedicated to training women as they seek elected office.
- Run Women Run trains pro-choice women to run for elected office.
- Elect Her is specifically geared at female college students interested in running for office.
'Tis begun. Keep getting out there and being the change, game-changers.
Words: Deena Drewis