Criminal Justice Victories in the Midterms

I’m starting to breathe again after the turmoil/anxiety that was last night’s midterm election. Democratic socialists and democrats earned numerous victories as they took back the House, which is a huge deal when it comes to holding Trump and co. (aka Satan people) accountable for their crimes against humanity. A record 98 women were elected to House seats, which means that 100 or more women will serve in the House next year. Marginalized representatives knocked off incumbents and many a racist to make history in the government! Sharice Davids beat Kevin Yoder in Kansas for Congress, becoming the first native American woman elected to U.S. legislature with New Mexico’s Deb Haaland joining shortly after; Kris Kobach lost to Laura Kelly for Kansas Governor; Texas is sending its first two Latinx women to Congress; Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to serve ever; Ayanna Pressley is the first elected Black woman in the House from Massachusetts; Kristi Noem of South Dakota is the first woman to become the state’s governor; Colorado’s Jared Polis is the first openly gay man to be elected governor; Anna Eskamani from Florida is the first Iranian-American elected to the state legislature; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress; and so many more people of color, women of color, white women, and LGBTQ members won elections across the country. Although I’m still angry and frustrated that my favorite Beto O’Rourke lost his well fought Senate run to the actual devil aka Ted Cruz aka the Zodiac Killer, Stacey Abrams’ votes for Georgia governor were stolen by Brian Kemp, and Andrew Gillum barely lost the Senate race to a Nazi in Florida, there were major victories for those of us on the side of justice and equality.

The biggest win to me was the passing of Amendment 4 in Florida, which restored voting rights to 1.4 million formerly incarcerated Florida citizens. That meant that 40% of Black men in the state were given the right to vote back! Voter disenfranchisement is one crucial way that Jim Crow still operates in America, so this victory was incredible. Another piece of fantastic news came from Louisiana where Amendment 2 passed, requiring a unanimous jury for felony convictions. In the past, the non-unanimous jury rule allowed 10 of 12 jurors to convict a person of a felony. And in Colorado, Amendment A passed, officially abolishing legal prison slavery!!! The measure will remove diction in the Colorado Constitution that allowed non-paid prison labor. Beto may have lost (still sadness, still despise Ted Cruz UGH), but the results showed that minority groups, women of color and WW, and all people of dignity and decency are organizing to create a better America that works for more than just white men and most white women. Voting is not the end all and it’s still unacceptable that half of America is full of white supremacist racists, so we have to keep working with truly progressive candidates and organize for the next election. We need to help register poorer people and formerly incarcerated people who are now allowed to vote get the tools they need to cast their ballots in the next election. And we need to fight like hell against the 59%+ white women who continue to vote for their race over their sex. Now let’s keep this rainbow wave moving! #Beto2020