One of the big wins in California was Prop 17, which allows those on parole the right to vote. It’s so amazing and will uplift more communities of color. To see the reelection of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, and to see newly elected Muslim public officials like [San Francisco City College board member] Aliya Chisti, [Oklahoma lawmaker] Mauree Turner, [Florida lawmaker] Christopher Benjamin, and so many more is so beautiful. I’m beyond excited that the people who care about our communities are being elected.
I think that this year’s voting cycle was inspirational because people were presenting information on voter suppression, how to vote, what the props are, who is running locally, and how it impacts us directly. The efforts on social media and by local organizations are showing amazing results.
Hanna: This election cycle, I am far more frustrated with white liberals than I am with conservatives. This is partially due to the fact that I interact as little as possible with Trump supporters, but also partially because many white liberals who are suddenly aware of racial issues in this country believe that voting for Biden or advocating for voting for Biden is enough to solve our country’s issues. It’s really a shame, because people who showed enthusiasm and support over the summer for the Black Lives Matter movement, for example, are using their privilege only to tell others to vote, rather than making any sacrifices or engaging in any form of community work… I’m incredibly disappointed in many of the people around me whose activism I thought extended past electoral politics. Clearly, I was wrong.
As a Biden settler, I also feel a bit too much enthusiasm coming from white liberals toward Biden. There seems to be an idea floating around that Biden will be the savior of Black communities, and that there was no violence against Black people pre-Trump. This ideology is particularly harmful. Although Biden will perhaps allow for a somewhat safer environment for activism, he is another active part of the same capitalist, white supremacist, imperialist establishment that has oppressed and endangered Black and Native lives since its founding. This country will not be changed by a president… We have to make it clear that the only way for those with race and class privilege to help their community is not only to vote but also to give money to people in need, get involved with community organizations, and protect BIPOC at protests ALL YEAR ROUND!
River: My state of New Hampshire voted for Biden, but only at 52.8%. It is so concerning to me that this presidential election got so close, not just in my state, but nationwide. I thought that maybe Biden would win by a landslide, but I was clearly wrong; it was so much closer than I was comfortable with. Also, I find it interesting that 1.6 million votes in my state went to a third-party candidate, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, who I have never heard of.
Focusing more on my state, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen won re-election to the U.S. Senate, which I’m happy about. I actually met her in person at my job because it was the anniversary of my worker’s union strike against the company (which we won!) and she wanted to check-in. The governor, Republican Chris Sununu, was also reelected, which I am not happy about because (to name simply a few reasons) historically Sununu has been against Planned Parenthood, and I also disagree with the steps he has taken to solve New Hampshire’s opioid crisis. All in all, I suppose having Shaheen in the Senate balances out Sununu as the governor.