Celebrating Changes During The Election

Elections are definitely a stressful time of the year. For many, it can cause a lot of anxiety and panic as we all wait for votes to be counted in each state and fear the results, and you may think that nothing good is going to happen anytime soon, but many things have actually been happening to recognize and be happy about. Although plenty of chaos is still happening all over us, take time to learn about changes that have happened since the 2020 election and the good that is currently happening in different inches of the country.

For starters, Mississippi voted to replace the Confederate-themed state flag which has been in place for decades, it was actually the last state to change it. Now it is a magnolia flower. The flag was lowered from the State Capitol building in Jackson and replaced due to it’s racist imagery and history. Arizona, New Jersey, and Montana have both legalized the use of recreational marijuana along with Mississippi and South Dakota which have legalized the use of medical marijuana. In Oregon, they became the first state to go forward and decriminalize drug use, allowing the possession of small amounts of substances, especially when used for a health disorder or disease. This includes small amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs will have smaller scaled punishments similar to traffic tickets. Rather than receiving criminal punishment and jail time, the state has provided addicts to more recovery services. This is a huge change to take notice of.

Prop 17 was passed in California which gives felons that are on parole the right to vote again, this is something that has been seriously asked for, especially for this election. This is so important because no one is silenced or stripped from their voting rights because of felonies and past crimes. Florida passed Amendment Two which raises their minimum wage to $15/hour by 2026 and this could possibly increase more by then. This will benefit employees incredibly, especially those working part time. In Utah, the state is removing parts of their Constitution because it is gendered and replacing it with gender-neutral descriptions.

The first ever openly transgender state senator was elected in Delaware, Sarah McBride has proudly shared her story with thousands and has really advocated and inspired many. This is very important because we are starting to see more representation we’ve never seen before in politics. Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones are the first openly gay black members of congress and Cori Bush is the first women of color to have a seat in Missouri’s congressional district. In the Oklahoma state house, Mauree Turner is the first non-binary state lawmaker in American history, plus the first Muslim in the house. Georgia elected Kim Jackson as their first LGBTQ+ state senator.

Many changes continue to take place, in ways our country has never seen before. For once, all types of people with different sexualities, identities, race, religions, and stories are being included in politics and history. I know all eyes are currently on the presidential candidates and the voting ballots, and rightfully so as it’s very important to watch and understand, but some amazing things have been happening statewide since the election and should be celebrated.